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False alarm at Madrid airport after bomb threat on plane

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False alarm at Madrid airport after bomb threat on plane
13:03 CET+01:00
Madrid's Barajas airport was put on alert on Thursday after a Saudi Airlines pilot reported a threat.

Passengers on a flight to Riyadh from Madrid were evacuated on Thursday after a note in English that read "11:30 bomb" was found pinned to the inside of the aircraft with a knife, police said.

The captain of the Saudi Airlines flight SVA226, travelling from Madrid to the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, reported a "threat" on board and requested an evacuation. 

"Security forces and rescue services are mobilized. The plane was isolated and passengers evacuated," a spokeswoman for AENA, the group that manages airports in Spain, told AFP. 

The spokeswoman said the airport was operating normally while security forces were inspecting the plane.

The flight with 95 passengers on board was due for take-off at 10.54am from Terminal Four of Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport but remained grounded.

Passengers were told they were leaving the plane because of "technical problems" according to several passengers who spoke to El Mundo. 

 

 

Cristina Cifuentes, the president of the Madrid region called for calm and said all those on board had been evacuated safely.

By 1.10pm the airport authorities lowered the level of alert from "general" to "local".

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