Passenger arrested for bomb hoax as drama unfolds over Manchester skies
A man was arrested by Greater Manchester police over a suspected bomb hoax that triggered a dramatic chain of events in the sky over the English city.
The flight, carrying 269 passengers and 13 crew, landed safely at Manchester Airport before armed police stormed the jet to apprehend the suspect.
Qatar Airways flight QR23 was enroute from Doha when its pilot reported a "possible device" aboard, prompting the Royal Air Force (RAF) to scramble Typhoon fighter jets to escort the plane.
Several bystanders who witnessed the incredible scenes from the ground posted images of the jets on social media:
One passenger even snapped a video of one of the escorting fighters from his window and posted it on Instagram:
After the Airbus A330-300 landed safely in Manchester, another passenger tweeted a photo of the suspect being arrested by police.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed the arrest on their official Twitter account.
After the harrowing experience, passenger Josh Hartley told the BBC: "When the escort came it was very scary - I'm pretty shook up now."
Another passenger Mattew Cox added: "Armed police came on and found a guy, searched him and made him stand up with his hands on his head and took him off the plane.
"He seemed no different to others on the plane, nothing unusual."
Despite the scare, it seems as if there were no actual terrorist threat as a police source told The Guardian that they "may be looking at an idiot rather than an international terrorist" regarding the arrested suspect.
The incident prompted the police to close the Manchester airport for about 30 minutes. Normal operations have since resumed, reports said.
Sources: Twitter, BBC, The Guardian, Instagram, Reuters