Bomb hoax forces emergency landing

Sunday, January 20, 2002

LONDON -- A trans-Atlantic passenger jet flying from Britain to Florida in the United States was diverted to Iceland Saturday after a bomb hoax, airline officials said.

The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 took off from London's Gatwick airport at 6 a.m. EST bound for Orlando, Fla. It landed safely at Keflavik airport, 30 miles southwest of the capital Reykjavik at 12:26 p.m. EST.

An airline spokesman said a message containing a bomb threat had been found by crew in the plane's toilet. He said local police intended to question the passengers. about the hoax threat.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority in Iceland said the plane, which had 322 passengers and 18 crew on board, landed safely. He said there had been a security threat, but had no further details.

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