Official: Situation on plane from Pakistan apparently not terror-related

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Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Airlines (AP Photo)

LONDON (AP) — A British security official says today’s situation on board a commercial airliner from Pakistan to England doesn’t appear to be terror-related, although police are still investigating.

The British military scrambled fighter jets to intercept the plane, diverting it to an isolated runway at an airport on the outskirts of London. Two British passengers were arrested on suspicion of endangering the aircraft.

The incident comes just days after a British soldier was killed on a London street in a suspected terror attack. Britain has been on alert for additional attacks.

One passenger told Pakistani TV that two men who had tried to move toward the cockpit during the flight were handcuffed and arrested once the plane landed. The passenger says after the men were taken away, the flight crew told passengers there had been a terrorist threat and that the pilot had raised an alarm.

Police say the suspects were taken to a police station, and the plane will be examined by forensic specialists. They say no suspicious items have been recovered so far.

Passengers have left the plane. They were also being interviewed by police.

A spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines says the airline had been unable to contact the pilot of the flight despite repeated attempts. He says 297 passengers and 11 crew were on the plane.

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