Passengers Evacuated from Madrid-Riyadh Flight after Bomb Hoax

Passengers on a flight to Riyadh from Madrid were evacuated Thursday after a note threatening a bomb attack was found inside the plane in what was later confirmed as a hoax.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines flight had been due to take off in the mid-morning from Madrid but the captain requested an evacuation after a note reading "11:30 bomb" was discovered pinned to the interior. The plane was taken to an isolated part of the airport for inspection.

The airline is just the latest to be hit by fake threats as jitters over extremist attacks continue, particularly since a Russian passenger jet crashed in October over the Sinai peninsula, killing 224 people in what Moscow said was an act of terror.

"The information that we have from the Guardia Civil (police force) is that it was a false alert," a spokeswoman for airport operator AENA, who refused to be named, told AFP.

Security forces and rescue services were quickly mobilized when the note was discovered on board the SVA 226 flight that carried 97 passengers and 15 crew members.

After an inspection of the aircraft, the authorities eventually concluded there was no bomb on board.

The airport continued to operate normally throughout.

Saudi Arabian Airlines is just the latest to be hit by such a hoax.

Last month, an Indian passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing in the country's western city of Nagpur after a hoax bomb threat.

That same January, a Scandinavian Airlines plane carrying 72 people from London to Stockholm was diverted to Gothenburg and the passengers evacuated, due to a hoax bomb threat.

Source: Agence France Presse

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