• France's news in English
Panic on board Paris flight after 'terror scare'
Photo: AFP

Panic on board Paris flight after 'terror scare'

The Local · 14 Apr 2016, 09:55

Published: 14 Apr 2016 09:55 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The drama reportedly took place on the tarmac of Charles de Gaulle airport on a flight that was bound for Bilbao in northern Spain, and operated by Air France subsidiary Hop!. 
It's understood that passengers became scared after learning that a man "of Arab origin" hadn't boarded the plane, despite checking in, reported Spanish daily El Correo
He was believed to have been travelling with another woman, who had already boarded the plane along with the 100 or so other passengers.  
Passengers soon learned that there was also a suitcase on the plane that apparently belonged to no-one on board. 
To make matters more confusing for the passengers, the female companion of the missing man did not speak French or Spanish, according to reports. 
According to El Correo's sources at Air France, the woman was interrogated but "did not speak". 
Panic soon spread across the plane as the security ordeal continued.  
"It was horrible," a passenger from Bilbao who was involved in the incident told El Correo. 
"It’s true that there were people who called home to say something very serious was happening and they didn’t know what was going to happen."
The son of a woman on the flight told Radio Bilbao that his mother called him "as if to say goodbye".
"My mother told me people were crying, calling their families to tell them they didn't know what was happening..."
"She was speaking to me in a voice... like she was saying goodbye."
Passengers were kept on board the plane for three hours while authorities investigated, before they were eventually taken off the plane. 
The man confirmed that her mother and the other passengers had been sent to a nearby hotel to spend the night, and took a flight out to Spain the following day.
While Air France remained tight-lipped about the reasons for the three-hour delay, the company told The Local that "following procedures, safety checks (were) requested", adding that these procedures took "longer than expected". 
Story continues below…
The company has not confirmed details of what happened on board.
There have been an increased number of incidents of this nature since the November terror attacks in Paris, and the March attacks in Brussels.
Most recently at Charles de Gaulle, a security scare saw a British man ordered off an easyJet flight in March after he was found to have boarded with a knife. 

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available