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Sri Lankan plane in emergency landing at Stansted

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A Sri Lankan Airlines plane travelling from Colombo to Heathrow was forced to make an emergency landing at Stansted, police have said.

Two British men were arrested on suspicion of endangering the A340 Airbus which was carrying 267 passengers and crew.

Essex Police boarded the aircraft shortly after 19:30 BST and arrested the pair.

Police said Saturday that it was a criminal matter rather than suspected terrorism, but they gave no details of what the two suspects were doing aboard the plane.

Sri Lankan Immigration authorities stated that the British nationals who were arrested had been deported from Sri Lanka.

The remaining passengers were taken to a reception centre and were due to be transferred to Heathrow.

A spokesman for Stansted said: “A Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus A330 diverted into Stansted at approximately 19.30 this evening [Friday].

“The aircraft, which was flying from Colombo to Heathrow, landed safely with Essex Police in attendance.

“The airport is open and flights are arriving and departing as normal.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Officers boarded the aircraft and arrested two men on suspicion of endangering an aircraft.

“The passengers have been removed safely. Enquiries are ongoing.”

SriLankan Airlines stated that the remaining passengers who were onboard the flight UL503 are currently being transported from Stansted to Heathrow, London, where their 11-hour flight was originally scheduled to land at 8.05pm.  

The SriLankan Airlines flight from Colombo, which left at Bandaranayake International Airport at 1.05pm local time, landed at Stansted about 7.30pm.

The plane, an Airbus A340-200, touched down on the segregated north side of the airport, well away from the main terminal building.

Stansted is the UK’s designated airport for hijacking and other high-security incidents.

On May 24, a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore carrying 308 passengers and 14 crew was diverted to Stansted after the pilots issued a distress code signalling an emergency about 10 minutes before it was due to land at Manchester.

The Boeing 777 landed at the north-west Essex hub under escort from RAF Typhoon fighter jets which had been scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Two men from Nelson in Lancashire were arrested and later charged with endangering an aircraft.

Courtesy: AdaDerana

Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 @ 14:15:59 LKT by

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