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


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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