Man held after flights in China hit by false bomb threats

Man held after flights in China hit by false bomb threats

A man was held by police on Thursday on suspicion of making false bomb threats that affected four flights to and from Changsha, the Hunan provincial capital.

Liu Jiang, a publicity head at Changsha Huanghua International Airport, told China Daily that operation on the four flights had later returned to normal.

Liu did not disclose detailed information on the suspect, confirming only that he is being held by police.

Xinhua News Agency reported that the bomb threats had been made by telephone by the same person.

Micro-bloggers released information about the threats to their flights.

Capital Airlines, one of the carriers affected, said on its micro blog at 2 pm that flight JD5662 from Changsha to Hangzhou received a bomb threat by phone at 12:45 pm, 30 minutes after it left.

The plane landed at Nanchang airport in Jiangxi province, and passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

No bomb was found during a safety check and the plane took off again at 5:32 pm, the airline said.

"It was a tough experience," said a passenger surnamed Zhang from Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. "I wish I could arrive at home as soon as possible."

A false bomb threat forced flight CZ3743 operated by China Southern Airlines from Harbin to Shenzhen, via Changsha, to land at Wuhan airport in Hubei province.

Wuhan airport said on its micro blog that the plane took off at 4 pm after no bomb was found.

Two other flights, MF8258 operated by Xiamen Airlines from Lanzhou to Hangzhou and flight 3U8998 on Sichuan Airlines from Fuzhou to Chengdu, were delayed by the false bomb threats.

People convicted of making false rumours of terrorist threats or natural disasters will be sentenced to at least five years in prison if the consequences are considered serious, according to a Supreme People's Court news conference in September.

In an earlier report, Lyu Guanglun, a judge at the Supreme People's Court, said Chinese airlines and airports had received more than 80 false terrorist threats by September.

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