London-bound easyJet plane diverts over 'suspicious conversation'; 3 men arrested

The pilot of the easyJet flight decided to land after passengers told flight attendants "that several men were talking about terrorist activities".
The pilot of the easyJet flight decided to land after passengers told flight attendants "that several men were talking about terrorist activities".PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - A London-bound easyJet flight was diverted to Cologne on Saturday (June 10) evening due to a "suspicious conversation" heard on board, with passengers evacuated on emergency slides and three men arrested, German police said.

The pilot of the flight from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana decided to land after passengers told flight attendants "that several men were talking about terrorist activities," a police spokesman told AFP, without elaborating on the content of their discussion.

After the plane landed in a secure area of Cologne-Bonn airport at about 1600 GMT (June 11, 12am Singapore time), federal police evacuated the 151 passengers down emergency slides. They isolated a backpack belonging to the three suspects, which was blown up by bomb squad officers.

The three men were handed over to police in Cologne, but no details were provided on the contents of their baggage or the reality of the terrorist threat.

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Air traffic at the airport was interrupted between 1700 GMT and 2000 GMT with 10 flights diverted and 20 departures delayed.

Germany remains on high alert following several extremist attacks there and in other European countries. Authorities evacuated Germany's biggest rock festival on Friday, the three-day "Rock am Ring," over fears of a possible terrorist threat, which proved unfounded.