Bail denied for 2 men after flight diverted over UK
CNN — Bail was denied Monday for two men charged with endangering an aircraft in Friday's diversion of a Pakistan International Airlines flight to a London-area airport, a spokeswoman for police in Essex said.
Tayyab Subhani, 30, and Mohammed Safdar, 41, were sent back to police custody after their appearance at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Monday morning. Their next court appearance is scheduled for August 5, said Helen Cook, press officer of the Essex police in the United Kingdom.
A UK fighter jet was scrambled to escort Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK709 as it was diverted from northwestern England's Manchester Airport to Stansted Airport near London on Friday.
Essex police, who cover the area near Stansted, said officers arrested Subhani and Safdar and removed them from the plane, which had 297 passengers aboard. The flight originated in Lahore, Pakistan.
Wajid Hasan, Pakistan's high commissioner to the United Kingdom, told CNN that the two passengers "got into an altercation with air stewardesses and threatened to blow up the plane."
The flight attendants contacted the pilot, who contacted UK air traffic control authorities, who then scrambled the fighter jet, he said.
The plane later continued on to Manchester from Stansted after all the passengers and cargo were screened, a process that took about four hours, according to the high commissioner's office.
Passengers arriving at Stansted told CNN they were delayed by what several called a terrorist scare. Police have not mentioned terrorism in connection with the incident.
CNN's Laura Smith-Spark, Shaan Khan and Nic Robertson contributed to this report.
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By Stephanie Halasz