A Pakistan International Airlines flight en route from Lahore to Manchester, England, was forced to land at London’s Stansted Airport on Friday after a pair of male passengers threatened the safety of the aircraft in some way. The plane was escorted to the ground by Typhoon military jets, and the 300 or so people onboard disembarked safely. The two men were taken into custody and have not yet been identified, but the BBC reports that they are 31-year-old and 40-year-old British citizens.
A witness told Sky News, “The cabin crew informed us that basically they tried to come into the cockpit a few times and because they had been asked not to do that, they got into a bit of an argument with the crew and made a few threats.” According to the New York Times, a Pakistani Defense Ministry spokeswoman explained “that initial reports indicated that the two men were arguing when one of them ‘repeated twice or thrice that he will blow up the plane.’” Meanwhile, a PIA spokesman said, “Later…[they] said they were joking.” Really bad timing, guys.
Update: The Essex police department, which is handling the incident, said its officers are investigating this as a “criminal offense” and had not found any “suspicious items” on the plane or suspects, the BBC reports.