POLICE and emergency services have grounded a British Airways flight at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris amid security fears.
The Airbus A320 was due to fly to London Heathrow Airport when officials ordered its evacuation. However, security officers surrounded the plane as it was held on the tarmac around 7.45am Sunday local time.
Passengers have been evacuated from the jet, with many taking to social media to give updates on the situation. One passenger, James Anderson, said a “direct threat” had been made against the airport.
“On British Airways flight BA0303, currently being held on tarmac at Paris due to security threat, surrounded by police and fire vehicles,” James Anderson tweeted.
“Apparently an individual has made a direct threat to this aircraft. We will all be led off the aircraft & baggage searched in due course.
“Everybody’s been individually searched by armed officers and given all clear. Now hold luggage being searched by dogs.”
Mr Anderson told Mirror Online: “Initially the pilot told us there were technical issues. We were waiting on the plane for around an hour.
“We were then told the aircraft had to move to another part of the airport. That’s when we noticed police and fire vehicles quickly surround the plane and dozens of armed officers and firefighters got out.
“The pilot then said there had been a direct security threat involving our flight specifically.
“We had all our carry on bags searched (given all clear), we’re now going through the body scanners and x-rays, and then we will have to identify any hold luggage that belongs to us.
“They need to make sure everybody and everything has been searched. They’re being extremely thorough and we’re being escorted by armed officers.”
He later tweeted that passengers were being rebooked on the next available flight.
Following the alleged security threat, a British Airways spokesman reportedly said the safety and security of customers and crew is “always top priority”.
She added: “Additional security checks are being carried out as a precaution.