Three British businessmen questioned after 'bomb talk' grounds Easyjet plane
An allegedly suspicious conversation led to the London-bound easyJet Airbus being diverted to Cologne-Bonn airport in Germany.
All 151 passengers were evacuated down emergency chutes. Nine people suffered minor injuries.
Police searched the jet with sniffer dogs but no traces of explosives were found.
A rucksack belonging to one of the men was destroyed in a controlled explosion.
Police said the bag did not contain an explosive device.
The flight from Slovenia was diverted on Saturday night after anxious passengers told crew members the three men had spoken of a “bomb” and “explosive”.
One of them is believed to have had a book featuring a sniper’s rifle on the front cover.
The three men, aged 31, 38, and 48, were returning to Britain after a business trip to Slovenia.
A spokesman for Cologne-Bonn airport said yesterday: “The pilot had been informed about a suspicious conversation on board, after which he decided to make an unscheduled landing in Cologne-Bonn. After safely landing, the 151 passengers left the aircraft via emergency slides and were taken to a transit gate.”
Police said they were investigating a suspicion that the men were preparing to carry out “a serious violent crime”.
A Cologne police spokesman said: “During the flight, other passengers had made the crew aware of the men. According to the witnesses, there had been the subject of terrorist content.”
The emergency led to 20 flights being delayed and 17 diverted to other airports. Two were cancelled.
The stranded London-bound passengers were due to fly to the UK yesterday.