By Claire Gordon • 19 December 2021 • 18:13
UPDATE: Sussex Police said: “On Sunday 19 December we received a report of an apparent bomb threat that had been made to a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul that was due to arrive at Gatwick Airport. The aircraft arrived safely into Gatwick at 9.20am to a remote area of the airport while emergency services attended.
“It was swiftly established that the call did not relate to a genuine threat, everyone on board left the aircraft and passengers went on their way.
“We worked with Gatwick Airport management and with Air Traffic Control to ensure the incident was resolved quickly and safely and there was minimal impact on the normal routine of the airport. An investigation into the threat is now underway.”
Sussex Police have confirmed that Gatwick Airport is the scene of an “ongoing emergency” as planes are ‘stuck’ on the tarmac waiting to depart. The force has confirmed that the incident they are currently attending to is not drone-related.
They said in a statement: “Sussex Police are currently dealing with an ongoing incident at Gatwick Airport. We will release more information in due course but it is not related to a drone incident.”
Passengers reported being ‘stuck’ on the runway and many turned to Twitter to keep people updated on what was happening. Journalist Antonello Guerrera said his flight to Rome was being held before takeoff. He wrote: “We have just been told by the plane captain that we cannot take off because there is an “ongoing emergency” at Gatwick Airport.”
He later tweeted that the cause of the delay “*might be*” an emergency landing involving a Turkish aircraft, but these reports are unconfirmed. He added “A captain of another stuck aircraft told instead about ‘possible debris’ on the runway. Confusing reports.”
Another Twitter user, About East Grinstead, claimed there was a police presence at the airport. They said: “There clearly was an emergency situation at Gatwick, not being reported, this morning.”
Dr Eva Iakobishvili claimed “special forces and machine guns” were all around her plane as they waited to take off from Gatwick Airport. She wrote: “Hi there, we are stuck in the aircraft with special forces and machine guns surrounding the plane. Can you tell us what is happening? Thanks.”
Later she added the delay was due to a “very serious security threat”, but this has not yet been confirmed.
This is a breaking news story, more to follow…
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