Easyjet plane diverts to Stansted after security alert

A passenger jet was diverted to Stansted Airport in Essex following a security alert.

The Easyjet plane, with 151 passengers on board, had been travelling from Hamburg in Germany to Luton.

The flight landed at about 17:30 BST and was met by the police who boarded the plane, an Easyjet spokesman confirmed.

Essex Police said the passengers were safe and well and the plane was expected to be cleared to fly to Luton.

Stansted is the UK's designated airport for security incidents involving aircraft.

In a statement, Easyjet said the Airbus A319 aircraft, which also has six crew, had been diverted as a "precautionary measure".

'Boy led away'

"We would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused," it said.

"Easyjet will transfer passengers to Luton Airport as soon as we can."

A police spokesman said the force was initially alerted to a potential security threat, but cleared the incident at 19:00 BST with the assistance of the Border Force.

No passengers were forced to disembark the aircraft, he said.

John Hobbs-Morris, a passenger on the aircraft, said a youth football team was travelling on the plane and one of the boys' passports was taken.

He said the boy was led away but then returned.

'Complete cock-up'

Speaking via Twitter, he said: "Everything under control. The kid had same name as someone on wanted list!

"Police gone and told we can fly to Luton."

After the plane arrived at Luton, Mr Hobbs-Morris, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, said: "It wasn't until we landed that the captain said we were at Stansted, not Luton, and I looked out of the window and saw that we were.

"He just said there was a threat to the plane."

He said the boy whose passport was taken was "distraught".

"It seemed to be a complete cock-up," he said.

"It happened to be a case of mistaken identity."

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