Royal Air Force jets were thrown into high-alert and reached supersonic speeds to chase down a passenger jet believed to be carrying a bomb.
The flight, operated by Ryanair, took off from an airport in Lithuania and landed north of London after RAF jets intercepted it. Ryanair officials explained that Lithuanian authorities detected a “suspected hoax security alert,” The New York Times reports. RAF officials confirmed that they ordered Typhoon jets to intercept the plane and escort it to Stansted Airport.
The details surrounding the “hoax” are unclear but one passenger told The Telegraph that the flight was delayed before take-off. He explained, “when we were allowed to board we saw fire engines and a police car but weren’t told anything and we took off.”
When the plane touched down in England, the pilot explained to passengers that a bomb threat was made in Lithuania. Police in Essex said that that they searched the plane and found nothing suspicious. Passengers were evacuated from the plane with armed security guards and the runway was cleared while the plane was searched. Other flights at the airport were reportedly delayed.