Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands was partially shut down amid reports of men armed with knives attempting to hijack a plane.
UPDATE: Air Europe has now confirmed that the hijacking alert was a false alarm.
— peter vandermeersch (@pvdmeersch) November 6, 2019
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, a military police force roughly equivalent to France’s National Gendarmerie, initially confirmed only that it was “investigating a suspicious situation on board an aircraft at Schiphol” and later that passengers and crew had been successfully removed from the relevant aircraft.
The Marechaussee also confirmed that the incident triggered a Grip 3 report, which is issued in response to “an incident or serious event with major consequences for the population”.
Media outlets and eyewitnesses reported a heavy presence of first responders including law enforcement and medical personnel at the scene, with Dutch broadcaster NOS reporting that the pilot had activated a hijacking alert, possibly in response to men with knives attempting to take control of the aircraft.
Air Europa has since confirmed that the incident was the result of a false alarm and offered its apologies.
Passagiers en crew veilig van boord. Onderzoek ter plaatse duurt nog voort.
— Koninklijke Marechaussee (@Marechaussee) November 6, 2019
#AirEuropaInfo False Alarm. In the flight Amsterdam – Madrid, this afternoon was activated, by mistake, a warning that triggers protocols on hijackings at the airport. Nothing has happened, all passengers are safe and sound waiting to fly soon. We deeply apologize.
— Air Europa (@AirEuropa) November 6, 2019
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