Gun cops storm Jet2 plane to Turkey and arrest man over ‘explosive device’ fears

Terrified passengers have described the “intimidating and alarming” moment armed police removed three people from a Jet2 flight over an alleged “explosive device”.

Passengers waited on the tarmac for three hours over what was later confirmed to be a security concern.

The flight, from East Midlands Airport to the Turkish city of Antalya, was halted after Leicestershire Police received a report of a man with an alleged explosive device.

A man was arrested for being in the possession of an explosive substance and has since been released on bail with investigations ongoing.

Footage has circulated of the moment officers, dressed in black and carrying long guns, boarded the plane and ushered the suspected passenger off the flight.

In total, three passengers were removed from the flight with the first told by the cops to put their hands up.

A passenger, who preferred not to share his name, was onboard the flight and has since described the incident toNottinghamshireLive.

The 35-year-old witness was on his way for a 10-day holiday in Turkey with his family.

He said: "We hadn't actually taken off but we'd been taxiing around the runway to the take-off point and it was then they paused the flight… we didn't move for about 15 minutes.

“The captain initially said there might have been a mix-up with the luggage and that we needed to taxi back.

"They were giving us updates every 15 minutes and they eventually told us there was a security issue, but that it was just routine and nothing serious.

“We were then surrounded by police cars and SWAT teams, all there with machine guns, and at that point, we knew it wasn't good.”

"There was a period of two hours where all the police were surrounding the plane but not coming on, which was quite intimidating actually. We were wondering, if it's just a luggage mix-up, then why are we surrounded by police?"

Leicestershire Police has previously addressed the reason for officers being armed, with a spokesperson saying: "Officers worked with airport staff and with the aircraft crew to provide an immediate response to the report.

“In the interests of public and officer safety, armed officers were also deployed to the area of the aircraft."

The Daily Star has contacted both Leicestershire Police and Jet2 for further comment on the matter.

The anonymous passenger added: "There was a 45-minute window when we actually knew that it was somebody on the plane but nobody knew who it was.

"Your imagination runs wild and I was thinking if there is an explosive device on here, I've got my wife and four-year-old daughter with me.

“The Jet2 staff were very nice overall, but I think people were quite frustrated that the updates we were getting had been fabricated because it had obviously gone from a luggage mix-up to a security threat.

"I understand why they did it though, because they obviously didn't want to alert the suspect that they were going to be apprehended."

Jet2 earlier apologised "for any inconvenience or upset caused by this unforeseen incident".

Leicestershire Police added: "Following the arrest, the aircraft has been fully searched. No explosive device has been found onboard and there is no suggestion that the threat made is viable."

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