Virgin Atlantic flight grounded by bomb threat in Dubai
Passengers aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight from Dubai to London’s Heathrow International were removed from the plane Tuesday, reportedly due to a bomb threat.
According to UK media reports, the aircraft had begun to taxi from the gate at Dubai International when it abruptly returned and everyone was evacuated from the plane.
Virgin Atlantic disputes this, insisting the aircraft never began its taxi, and that passengers were asked to deplane, but not evacuate.
According to passengers on the flight, the captain announced that a bomb threat had been received and, following the terror attack in Manchester, Virgin Atlantic ‘was putting the safety of its customers first’.
Passengers underwent full body scans before they were allowed back onto the plane.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said: 'Our customers travelling on the VS401 from Dubai to London Heathrow have temporarily disembarked the aircraft for additional security checks.
'This is purely as a precautionary measure as the safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we’re planning to have everyone on their way as quickly as possible.'
Neither Virgin Atlantic nor Dubai Airports have confirmed that a direct threat was made against the aircraft, or that it was a bomb threat.
Dubai Airports confirmed that the departure of a Virgin Atlantic aircraft was delayed whilst additional security checks were carried out. "These were carried out in close cooperation with Dubai Police and the airline, following which the aircraft was cleared for departure."
The incident comes after an explosion struck a concert Monday night in Manchester, England, killing 22 people among a panicked crowd of young concertgoers.