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24 Jan, 2016 11:11

Bomb threat diverts Houston-Istanbul flight to Ireland, passengers evacuated

No bomb has been found on board the Turkish Airlines flight TK34 which was diverted to Shannon, Ireland, earlier this morning, after a bomb threat. The plane was headed from Houston, USA, to Istanbul, Turkey.

A package discovered on board was suspected to be an explosive device.

A search has since been carried out and no explosive device was found on-board, according to a spokesman for Turkish Airlines.

The plane was diverted after a piece of paper with "bomb" written on it was discovered in the toilet, he said. 

Nothing was found in the search of the aircraft in Shannon, he confirmed, adding that the plane would take off again to Istanbul.

Emergency vehicles and the Army Bomb Disposal Team were on standby around the aircraft, located at a remote stand at Shannon Airport as all 209 passengers as well as crew were evacuated, according to Irish police sources.

A spokesperson for Shannon airport confirmed that the Turkish Airlines flight number 34 Boeing 777, was diverted to Shannon airport following a security issue and landed safely at 11.02 a.m.

The incident is now the subject of a follow-up investigation by Gardai (Irish police).

A search of the aircraft began after 3 p.m. (GMT), when the flight was due to arrive in Istanbul.

The US Embassy in Dublin said they "are aware of the incident and the welfare of US citizens is their top priority", in a statement to RT.com.

A spokesperson for the US Embassy added they are not able to give any more information at this stage but will provide all the assistance necessary to any affected US citizens.