Plane to Egypt lands in Bulgaria after bomb threat

Associated Press

Warsaw, Poland — A plane taking 161 tourists from Poland to Egypt landed in Bulgaria and was checked for explosives after a passenger said there was a bomb on board, officials said Thursday.

Bulgarian police said no explosives were found.

Georgy Tchipilsky, head of the airport in Burgas, said the Airbus A320 en route from Warsaw to the holiday resort of Hurghada requested an emergency landing due to a bomb threat and touched down in Burgas at 5:48 a.m. The flight was operated by Lithuanian charter airline Small Planet.

Burgas district prosecutor Kalina Chapkanova said that the 67-year old Polish passenger who claimed the bomb was on the plane has been questioned by the police and has admitted to drinking alcohol.

He will be detained for 24 hours and charges will be pressed against him before he is sent back to Poland, Chapkanova said. She did not specify the charges.

Passenger Agata Pinuszewska told Polish TVN24 by phone that armed Bulgarian officers burst into the plane at Burgas airport shouting at the man “Where is the bomb?” He was then led out and the other passengers were asked to leave the plane.

Pinuszewska said the passengers were waiting at the airport for another plane to come from Warsaw and take them to Hurghada.

Russia has suspended all flights to Egypt after Russian authorities say a bomb brought down a passenger plane from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 on board. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.