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Wed 6 Aug 2014 11:45 AM

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Qatar Airways bomb hoaxer sectioned under UK Mental Health Act

Aircraft was escorted into Manchester Airport by military jets after passenger gave crew a note claiming there was a bomb on board

Qatar Airways bomb hoaxer sectioned under UK Mental Health Act
Photo for illustrative purposes.

A Qatar Airways passenger arrested on Tuesday in Manchester for falsely claiming there was a bomb on board the aircraft has been
sectioned under the UK Mental Health Act and is being assessed by medical
specialists.

On Wednesday, Greater Manchester Police said in a statement
“a man, 47, arrested following an incident at Manchester Airport has been
sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

“Following his arrest he was assessed by medical
staff and again by a mental health team.

“He was subsequently sectioned to allow for a
fuller assessment and appropriate treatment.”

A full emergency was declared by Qatar Airways flight
QR23 from Doha to Manchester, with 269 passengers and 13 crew on board, when
the pilot reported a passenger had handed a note to crew claiming there was a
bomb on the aircraft.

The plane was escorted into Manchester Airport by Royal
Air Force military jets and all flights were diverted to nearby airports while
the aircraft, an Airbus A330-300 was searched by police.

A 47-year-old male from north-west England was escorted
off the plane in handcuffs for questioning. Once all passengers had disembarked,
a full search was carried out and no explosive devices were found.

Police sources told the Daily Mail: ‘It quickly
became clear we were not dealing with an international terrorist here but a
prize idiot.

“It appears he scribbled the note out of boredom
and handed it to cabin crew as they came round collecting rubbish.

“Luckily the quick response alert worked well, with
military, airport and police combining well together.”

Jackie Clifton, 52, a passenger on board the flight
told The Guardian the man had sat very quietly throughout the flight and then
"disappeared for maybe 20 minutes" before returning to his seat and
speaking to cabin crew. "I could hear them saying to him, 'it's a criminal
offence'."

Qatar Airways on Tuesday issued the following statement: "Qatar Airways can confirm that flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, an Airbus A330-300, landed safely at Manchester Airport ahead of its scheduled arrival time of 13:15.

"There were 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board. The crew onboard had received a threat about a possible device on board and Qatar Airways immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities.

"The crew is now fully assisting police at the airport with their inquiries. The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is our top priority. As this is a matter of a police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time. "

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