MOSCOW (Reuters) - Icelandic police said on Thursday there was no bomb on a Russian jet carrying more than 250 people from New York to Moscow that made an emergency landing at Keflavik airport after an anonymous caller told authorities there were explosives on board.
After a lengthy evacuation operation, police in Reykjavik searched the Aeroflot plane, that had already been airborne when the call was received.
“Everything has been searched and nothing has been found,” Vidir Reynisson at Iceland’s Civil Protection Department told Reuters.
A spokesman for the Icelandic airport said 253 people were on board the flight from John F. Kennedy airport. A duty officer at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, the aircraft’s destination, identified it as Aeroflot Flight 103.
A New York law enforcement official familiar with the situation told Reuters that the bomb threat call was made to JFK airport officials after the plane left, saying there were five pieces of luggage full of explosives on the plane.
Russian news agency Interfax, citing an unnamed source, said the anonymous caller said the explosives would detonate upon arrival in Moscow.
Emergency teams also searched an aeroplane in the city of Voronezh, 500 km (300 miles) south of Moscow, for explosives on Thursday after an anonymous phone call was made to the city’s airport, but no bomb was found, state-run RIA news agency reported.
A suicide bomb blast in the international arrivals area at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in January 2011 killed 37 people. Islamist insurgents in Russia’s North Caucasus claimed responsibility.
Suicide bombers identified as women from the North Caucasus blew up two planes on domestic Russian flights almost simultaneously in August 2004, killing all 90 people aboard in part of a series of attacks on targets around Russia.
Additional reporting by Omar Valdimarsson in Reykjavik, Simon Johnson in Stockholm and Chris Francescani in New York; Writing by Thomas Grove and Steve Gutterman; Editing by Alison Williams