A fighter jet had to escort Qatar Airways flight QR023 from Doha down to the ground at Manchester Airport minutes ago after the commercial pilot reported a "possible device on board." Here's how the whole thing unfolded.
The Manchester Evening News reports that hardly an hour ago, an RAF Typhoon fighter rapidly approached the Qatar Airways plane and started to bring it down to Manchester Airport. One of the many eyewitnesses to the event described the encounter.
I saw the fighter jet come from nowhere on the heels of the passenger plane. It seemed really close and was incredibly noisy. I thought it was going to hit the plane. It was circling so close.
While all other flights to Manchester redirected to nearby airports, the Qatar flight continued its escort, covered live on Twitter from the ground
and even from inside the plane.
It took hardly twenty minutes and both plane and fighter jet were safely on the ground. The Qatar flight was followed by a swarm of emergency vehicles.
The Mirror reports that civilian authorities are now in charge of the situation. Beyond that, however, there is currently no information about the suspected device in question. We will update as we know more.
UPDATE: The cops say it was a hoax bomb.
The Manchester Evening News had reported that the passengers had made it off the plane, and that there was potentially a bomb onboard. Sky News has reported the bomb threat was a hoax.
Top Photo Credit: Josh Hartley via Twitter