Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Pakistan Youth Games team caught up in bomb scare

Screengrab of Pakistan International Airlines jet at Ataturk airport, Istanbul, 7 September 2011
Image caption The UK-bound Pakistan International Airlines plane landed at Istanbul's Ataturk airport

The Pakistan team has been caught up in a bomb scare on the way to the Isle of Man for the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The squad was onboard flight PK709, a Boeing 777 which was bound for Manchester from Lahore.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane was forced to land at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, after a bomb threat.

Team official Fatima Lakhani said the airline announced there was a bomb scare once the plane arrived in Turkey.

She added: "Everything was very calm - we just got off calmly but waiting for six hours not knowing if there was actually a bomb, whether we would catch our connections, that was basically our issue".

The flight, a Boeing 777 which had been carrying 347 passengers plus crew, was one of two PIA planes targeted by a bomb scares, thought to have been made from Pakistan.

The crew of the UK-bound plane were flying over Bulgaria on Tuesday when they called the control tower at Istanbul to request permission for an emergency landing.

A PIA spokesman, Capt Tasneem Mozaffar, said: "When you have 500 people in the air you have to take the safest option."

Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency said the plane was taken to a remote part of the airport, where it was quickly evacuated and passengers were bussed to the terminal.

Sniffer dogs were sent in to check for explosives.

PIA said it had found no suspicious items, after checking passengers and baggage.

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