|The plane landed at Arlanda airport and was parked isolated from other aircraft and buildings [AFP]|
Swedish police have detained one person on suspicion of preparing aircraft sabotage after a Pakistan International Airlines plane was diverted to Stockholm due to a bomb alert.
Police detained the suspect, described as a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin, as he was evacuated from the aircraft on Saturday along with other passengers in the Swedish capital.
The Pakistan-bound plane was travelling from Toronto, Canada, with 273 passengers when its pilot made an emergency landing in Sweden following a tip that a passenger was carrying explosives.
But police said no explosives were found on the man.
“We’re searching the plane with bomb technicians to see if there is something we can find but so far we haven’t found anything, neither on the plane nor on the man,” Stefan Radman, the police chief of operations, said.
Alert from Canada
Janne Hedlund, an official with the Stockholm police, said the plane was diverted after a woman called Canadian police, saying a man on board had explosives with him.
“The aircraft started in Toronto at 05:15 local time and when the aircraft was in Swedish territory, a woman called the Canadian police and said that this man could probably have a bomb on board the aircraft,” he said.
“She called through a payphone, so the Canadian authority don’t really know who the woman is. The Canadian authority alerted the pilot and he landed in Arlanda airport.
“The aircraft is evacuated and the suspect is under control by the police authorities in Arlanda. We are going to question him now.”
Police officials said the man was not on any international no-fly lists and had cleared a security check in Canada.
He did not resist when police took him into custody.
Both the airline and airport officials have said the plane would resume its journey as soon as possible.
“That will probably be tomorrow. The crew has been up and running for too long and now has to be replaced or rest,” Jan Lindqvist, an airport spokesman, said.
According to Swedish law, a prosecutor has to decide if the suspect will be formally charged, kept in detention or allowed to go free.