Dutch Airport Shut Down, Rumours of Armed Hijackers on Flight to Spain

Amsterdam
MARCEL ANTONISSE/AFP/Getty Images

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.

The incident took place on an Air Europa flight to the Spanish capital of Madrid, according to a report in The Mirror which was corroborated by local news outlets.

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.

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