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Man detained after hoax grounded plane in NW China

English.news.cn   2012-10-09 01:14:18            

Passengers board on the plane CZ680 at Gansu Zhongchuan Airport in Lanzhou, northwest China's Gansu Province, Oct. 8, 2012. The passenger plane, which made a forced landing in Lanzhou on Monday afternoon after receiving an anonymous "terrorist threat," took off at about 10:45 p.m. Monday after a security check. (Xinhua/Zhang Meng)

LANZHOU/URUMQI, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- A suspect was detained by police in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region late Monday night, hours after a plane made a forced landing because of a terrorist threat he allegedly fabricated.

The man, whose surname was given as Wang, confessed to the police that he made the fake terrorist threat that had led to the forced landing of an international passenger plane, according to sources with Xinjiang public security authorities.

Police said they are investigating Wang's motives of making up the threat.

The China Southern Airlines flight CZ680, traveling from Istanbul to Beijing via Urumqi, was grounded in the Zhongchuan Airport in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, hours after its take-off from Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi.

The Boeing 757 took off again at around 10:45 p.m. at the airport after a four-hour-long security check found no explosives or any other suspected items.

The plane was scheduled to take off from Urumqi at 2:30 p.m. and land in Beijing at 5:50 p.m., according to the flight's timetable.

It made its forced landing in Gansu at around 5:30 p.m..

All the 196 onboard, including 186 passengers and 10 crew members, were evacuated immediately after the landing.

No other flights at the Zhongchuan Airport were disrupted.

An Internet user who claimed to be one of the passengers on the plane said she was not given any explanation before or after the landing.

"Without the maps app on my mobile phone, I would not even have known where I was," said Baimifan at Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging website.

She was identified as a designer with Puma by the website.

The latest incident came less than two months after bombing threats grounded two airplanes in China.

In late August, an Air China flight bound for New York returned to Beijing Capital International Airport after it received a threatening message. The plane headed for New York after no dangerous items were found on the plane.

In the same week, a Shenzhen Airlines domestic flight returned after receiving a bomb threat. Police in central China detained a man who confessed that he fabricated the bomb hoax to stop a creditor aboard the flight from collecting his debt.

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Editor: An
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