Bomb hoax hits Thai AirAsia flight

A hoax bomb threat directed at a Phuket-bound Thai AirAsia flight prompted an emergency response on the southern resort island.

Airports of Thailand president Mekin Petplai said the threat was called in about five minutes before FD3003 was due to land at Phuket international airport. The Airbus A320-200 aircraft with 167 passengers and four crewmembers on board was quarantined in an isolated parking area after landing safely. No bomb was found.

The flight - reportedly carrying Thailand's national football team - left Don Mueang airport at 10.55am and arrived in Phuket at 12.15pm. The return flight was delayed two hours as officials thoroughly searched the plane.

Pol Col Somchai Sanprasert, Tha Chatchai police chief, confirmed the bomb hoax to INN, but said the case was not filed with police. Local media reported that the telephone number from which the bomb alert call was made was given to Phuket police. Mr Mekin was expected to travel to Phuket to investigate further Wednesday.

Phuket-based explosive ordnance-disposal police were sent to the airport to check the aircraft and no bombs were found on the plane, he said.

Local media reported that passengers were deplaned and luggage offloaded, with each piece matched against passengers. All but four pieces were claimed immediately and the final bags after a short delay.

Thailand's football team was travelling to Phuket to play warm-up matches from this weekend against Burma, Phuket FC and Qatar in preparation for the Asian Games in South Korea.

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