False bomb alerts on flights to Brussels


Two international flights landed safely at Brussels airport late Wednesday following bomb alerts that turned out to be false, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office said.

The federal prosecutor's spokesman Eric Van der Sijpt said he could not describe the exact nature of the bomb threats but added they concerned two flights by Scandinavian airlines SAS from Oslo and Stockholm.

"There is still an ongoing investigation concerning a possible threat," Van der Sijpt told AFP. "But at least the threats on those two planes are negative."

He declined to elaborate on what other possible threat existed.

A source at the airport told AFP that precautions were taken at the air hub which was hit in March by deadly militant bombings.

"Security measures were taken, but everything has returned to normal now. The bomb alert is over," a source at the airport told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The source did not specify what security meaures were put in place but said the airport has reacted to several other bomb alerts at the airport in recent weeks.

The Belgian broadcaster VRT reported earlier that a bomb alert was triggered for two flights heading to Brussels airport, but that the authorities determined later the threat was not serious.

VRT said an SAS flight from Oslo landed safely Wednesday evening in Brussels while an Air Arabia Maroc flight was diverted and touched down safely in the French city of Toulouse.

The federal prosecutor's spokesman said he knew nothing of the flight that landed in Toulouse.

A spokesman at the French airport landed in Toulouse to allow a passenger to obtain medical treatment for burns suffered from hot water. It was not as a result of a bomb alert.

Press reports said the plane from Nador, Morocco flew onto Brussels.

Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers struck Brussels airport and a metro station near the European Union headquarters on March 22, killing 32 people.

Those attacks were claimed by Daesh, which controls large areas of territory in Iraq and Syria and has claimed numerous terror strikes in Europe over the last year.

A Belgian policewoman on Saturday shot and killed a machete-wielding Algerian man who wounded two female colleagues in the city of Charleroi, authorities said.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack by the man who officials said had been living illegally in Belgium.

Bomb threats reported on two planes due shortly at Brussels airport

Bomb threats were reported on two airplanes landing at Brussels airport in Zaventem, but one plane landed safely, Belgian state broadcaster VRT reported on Wednesday evening.

However, an airport police spokeswoman said no bomb alerts were in place and that there was no problem at the airport.

VRT said one of the planes, which was flying from Oslo, landed safely.

Federal prosecutors are taking the threats seriously and have taken a number of security measures, VRT said, citing prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt.

A reporter at Belgian broadcaster Woestijnvis/Proximus TV, Bart Raes, tweeted that he was on the flight from Oslo and that the pilot had received the bomb threat 20 minutes before the plane was due to land.

Raes said that passengers were informed of the threat and had to wait 10 minutes before being allowed to leave the plane after it landed.

Belgian media said some planes had been diverted to other airports.

Last March, bombers killed 32 people in suicide attacks at Brussels airport and a metro station. Many of those who carried out last November's attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people, were based in Belgium.

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