Turkish Airlines flight from US diverted to Canada after bomb threat, landed safely

A Turkish Airlines plane was diverted to Halifax, Canada, after a bomb threat, on Nov 22, 2015.
A Turkish Airlines plane was diverted to Halifax, Canada, after a bomb threat, on Nov 22, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Turkish Airlines flight bound for Istanbul from New York was diverted to Halifax, Canada, after a bomb threat, the Canadian police said on Sunday (Nov 22).

The plane landed safely and police were searching it using dogs trained in explosives, the Nova Scotia branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Twitter.

"Investigation into bomb threat is in its early stages. Threat was received at 10.50pm this evening," the police force tweeted, adding that the threat was received at 10.50pm on Saturday evening.

Separately, the Halifax airport tweeted that the transfer of the 256 passengers and crew on the flight to the terminal was going smoothly and all were safe.

The airport tweeted that the flight was bound for the Turkish capital of Ankara, while the RCMP had initially tweeted that it was headed to Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Halifax airport officials could not immediately be reached to clarify.

It was at least the second time in the past week a flight leaving the United States was diverted to Canada after a threat.

Two Air France flights bound for Paris from the United States were diverted for several hours on Tuesday following anonymous bomb threats. One of the flights, which had left Washington, was diverted to Halifax, but no explosives were found.

Security officials have been on high alert since Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants claimed responsibility for attacks this month in Paris that killed more than 100 people.

Russia has said the group was also responsible for the downing on Oct 31 of a plane returning to St Petersburg from the Sharm al-Sheikh resort in Egypt.