No explosives found on German plane grounded in Budapest

A German Condor Airlines A321 sits on the tarmac at Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, after it was subject to a bomb threat, on Dec 7, 2015.
A German Condor Airlines A321 sits on the tarmac at Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, after it was subject to a bomb threat, on Dec 7, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN/BUDAPEST (Reuters, AFP) - Police said they found no explosives on a German passenger plane after it diverted to Budapest on Monday (Dec 7) following a bomb threat.

The jet operated by Condor airlines, heading from Berlin to Hurghada in Egypt, had turned back from Serbian airspace with 120 people on board after the alert.

“Police have finished the search and have not found any explosives or explosive devices,” Hungarian police spokeswoman Viktoria Csiszer-Kovacs said.  Condor said it had received an “unspecified threat” made via telephone.

The incident came a month after the downing of a Russian airliner, also an Airbus A321, over Egypt on Oct 31, for which a group affiliated with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility.  The Kremlin has since concluded a bomb destroyed the plane, killing 224 people. 

The LiveATC.net air radio traffic website reported that Hungarian fighter planes escorted the Condor plane into the airport. Witnesses said fire and ambulances rushed to the aircraft after it landed. 

Condor said the plane, an Airbus A321, landed safely at 10:42 GMT (6:42pm Singapore time) in Budapest. “Safety takes the highest priority,” the company said in a statement, without providing further details of the threat.

All 133 passengers and seven crew were safe and being cared for, it added.