PARIS (AP) — Police and firefighters checked a British Airways plane on the tarmac of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport Sunday morning after reports of a security threat but authorities determined it was a false alarm.
One passenger on the plane said it was surrounded by dozens of armed officers and firefighters.
James Anderson, a 20-year-old entrepreneur on the flight from Paris to London’s Heathrow Airport, told The Associated Press that the pilot initially told passengers there were technical issues. After about an hour, he said passengers were told the aircraft had to move to another part of the airport and that’s when security officers surrounded the plane.
“The pilot then said there had been a direct security threat involving our flight,” Anderson told the AP.
A spokesman for France’s national gendarme service said police and firefighters rushed to the scene after receiving a “security alert.” The spokesman said the plane was evacuated, each passenger and each bag was checked and the plane was thoroughly examined but no threats were found. Authorities determined it was a false alarm.
He would not elaborate on the nature of the original alert. The spokesman was not authorized to be publicly named according to gendarme policy.
“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority. Additional security checks are being carried out as a precaution,” British Airways said in a statement when asked about the flight.