There are still conflicting reports about the reason British Airways Flight 274, carrying 312 passengers from Las Vegas to London on an overnight flight, was diverted to Montreal for an emergency landing on Wednesday morning. However, several sources cite interviews and social-media postings from passengers who indicate the plane was grounded after a bomb threat.
The subsequent actions of police would seem to bear this out, as the UK Daily Mail reports “all of the passengers onboard and 16 crew were evacuated while Montreal police search the aircraft with sniffer dogs and all of the luggage is removed to check for explosives.”
“There is going to be an approach in the next hour by police, bags are going to be taken off and checked over, and the SWAT team and canines will do an approach and go inside the plane to make sure there is nothing dangerous inside,” said a spokesman for the Montreal Police.
Neither he, nor a British Airways spokesman, would offer any details on the precise nature of the threat, for reasons of operational security. They did, however, confirm that the request for an emergency landing originated from the captain while the plane was in flight.
Twitter postings from a man in the U.K. named Ewan Somerville indicate that his parents, who were passengers on the flight, were told a “suspect device” might have been on the plane. The Associated Press reported late Wednesday morning that Canadian police officials confirmed there was a bomb threat.
All of the passengers plus 16 crew were evacuated from the plane without incident or injury. CBC News reports British Airways has paid for hotel rooms in Montreal for all passengers, and is booking new flights to London for them as quickly as possible.
The Daily Mail relates a report from Heathrow that no other inbound flights from the United States suffered any sort of disruption as a consequence of the incident.