China evacuates bomb-threatened plane

Beijing airport authorities evacuated about 30 passengers on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong because of a bomb threat.

The evacuation took place after flight CX390 landed at Beijing Capital International Airport at noon on September 11. Passengers and crew members escaped by emergency slides.

According to Hong Kong police, they received a call around 10:40 a.m. on September 11, informing them that a bomb had been planted on a flight to mainland China that had departed. Authorities later determined this was a hoax and were investigating. No arrest warrants have been issued.

Cathay Pacific said on Monday that a “small number” of passengers suffered minor bruising during the evacuation. They received medical attention and no one on board the Airbus 330 was hospitalized. A source said there were about 30 passengers on the plane when the incident happened.

Cathay Pacific's bomb-threatened flight on the runway of the international airport in Beijing, China on September 11.  Photo: Weibo.

Cathay Pacific’s bomb-threatened flight on the runway of the international airport in Beijing, China on September 11. Photo: Weibo.

The airline confirmed that the emergency slide was used to evacuate those on board as a precaution, after officials received a warning about a security threat.

One woman said her 70-year-old father was a passenger on the plane. He said the plane left Hong Kong around 9am and landed at Beijing airport at noon. After the plane landed, the crew looked nervous and occasionally whispered among themselves. They also opened the overhead luggage compartments, checking each compartment.

The exits were open but the crew did not explain the situation to the passengers. The anxious passenger followed the instructions, slid down and left the cabin.

She told the media that the slide was too steep and uneven. Several passengers were scratched and bleeding, including her father. The staff in full protective gear then boarded the plane to check. Passengers waited on the runway in the hot sun for an hour and a half.

“We will continue to provide necessary assistance and assistance to the passengers involved. The airline will also continue to cooperate with the authorities in the investigation,” Cathay Pacific said.

The maximum penalty for making a fake bomb threat is a fine of HK$150,000 (more than $19,000) and five years in prison.

Huyen Le (Follow SCMP)

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