Spanish Passenger Plane Likely Hijacked, Lands in Amsterdam

World | August 29, 2012, Wednesday // 16:06|  views

The Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Photo from The Mirror

Police have surrounded a passenger aircraft at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport amid fears a hijacker is on board.

The Dutch Defence Ministry sent two F-16 fighters to intercept a Vueling airplane thought to be carrying hostages on board that was bound for Amsterdam from Malaga, according to Dutch website, cited by The Mirror Wednesday afternoon.

The suspected hijacker is believed to still be on board the aircraft, which is currently surrounded by security forces at the airport.

The Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism says the fighter jets were sent aloft to escort the Airbus to the airport because of a lack of radio contact with the pilot.

The plane, from the Spanish air carrier Vueling, left Spain this morning en route to Amsterdam, the news website reports.

Earlier today, part of Schiphol Airport was evacuated after workers unearthed a suspected World War II bomb near its main terminal building.

Airport spokeswoman Karin Heldeweg says that the airport's Pier C has been shut down for arriving and departing flights while military bomb disposal experts check the suspected explosive and decide what to do with it.

The airport said the pier's closure could lead to delays and cancellations of flights.

The suspected bomb was uncovered early Wednesday by workers digging near the pier, which houses many of Schiphol's departure and arrival gates. Schiphol, just outside Amsterdam, is one of Europe's busiest aviation hubs.

Later a spokesperson for Spain's Vueling airline said the reports that the plane had been hijacked were due to mis-communication between the pilot and the control tower, thus denying a possible terrorism case.

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Tags: vueling, Spain, Amsterdam, Netherlands, hijack, hijacked, Schiphol Airport


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