World News

Aeroflot plane evacuated in Geneva after bomb threat, man arrested

GENEVA (Reuters) - An Aeroflot passenger plane was evacuated at Geneva airport on Thursday and a Russian man was arrested after saying there was a bomb on board, the prosecutor’s office in the Swiss city said.

The man told an airline ticket desk just before 1 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) that there was a bomb on a plane at the airport, it said in a statement.

“The aircraft, already preparing for take-off on the tarmac, was recalled to its stand. The passengers were taken off, nobody was hurt,” it said. Aeroflot said passengers booked on its flight 2381 to Moscow would be transferred to other aircraft.

The man who made the threat was arrested and later admitted making a false bomb threat, saying he had been joking, the prosecutor’s office said in a second statement.

The prosecutor’s spokesman said there were 115 people on board, but he did not specify if that included flight crew.

Several hours after the evacuation, a Reuters video journalist saw police dogs being used to check luggage that had been taken out of the plane and piled up in the rain, while a policeman and an official in a high-visibility jacket checked the outside of the aircraft.

The incident comes less than three months after the airport was put on high alert for half a day because of a woman who made a false bomb threat in a fit of jealousy over her husband and his mistress.

She was later jailed for three months and billed 90,000 Swiss francs ($92,000) for wasting police time.

Elsewhere in Europe, Brussels and Istanbul airports have both suffered deadly bomb attacks this year.

Reporting by Tom Miles, Stephanie Nebehay and Marina Depetris in Geneva, Jack Stubbs and Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow; Editing by Mark Trevelyan