F-16 fighter jets were scrambled after a false bomb threat was made aboard a flight from San Francisco to Singapore

  • F-16s were scrambled after a bomb threat was made on board a flight from San Francisco to Singapore.
  • Flight SQ33 made loops over the waters off Singapore before landing at Changi Airport.
  • Singapore authorities said a 37-year-old male passenger was arrested in relation to the incident.

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A fighter jet escort was scrambled after a bomb threat was made aboard a flight from San Francisco to Singapore.

The incident occurred aboard Singapore Airlines flight SQ33, which departed for its 16-hour journey from the San Francisco International Airport on Monday at 10.05 p.m. Pacific Time.

Singaporean authorities were alerted to a bomb threat aboard the flight on Wednesday at 2.40 a.m. local time, per CNA, after which an F-16 fighter jet escort was launched.

Singapore Airlines told Insider in a statement that an "unruly passenger" had hit a cabin crew member and made a bomb threat on the flight.

The airline said the passenger was '"subsequently restrained" and that all passengers and crew "disembarked normally" after the incident at 9.20 a.m., Singapore time.

"We are assisting the authorities with their investigations and regret that we are unable to provide further details," Singapore Airlines said in its statement.

According to the plane's flight path information, as shown on FlightRadar24, the aircraft flew in several loops over the waters off Singapore — one over the Indonesian island of Batam — before landing at Changi Airport.

It is unclear how many passengers were on board the Airbus A359 aircraft often used on this route, though Singapore Airlines advertises a 253-passenger capacity on the flight.

Representatives at the airline did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

A FlightRadar24 map of the path of SQ33, after a bomb threat was made on board the plane.

Flight tracking site FlightRadar24 mapped the loops that Singapore Airlines flight SQ33 took after a false bomb threat was made on board the plane. FlightRadar24

These loops stand in stark contrast to the more direct flight path that the airline has flown from San Francisco to Singapore on previous occasions.

Singapore's defense ministry confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that there had been a bomb threat aboard the flight.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that a 37-year-old male passenger had allegedly claimed that there was a bomb in a hand-carry bag, and had assaulted the crew," the statement read.

According to the ministry, Singapore Air Force's F-16 fighter jets "escorted the aircraft to safety" at the island's Changi airport, after which the army's explosive team and the airport police were sent to investigate the threat.

The statement did not specify the number of F-16s launched during the incident.

"The threat was subsequently verified to be false, and the suspicious person has been arrested. Police investigations are ongoing," read the defense ministry's statement.

If you were a passenger on flight SQ33 from San Francisco to Singapore, please feel free to reach out to Insider journalist Cheryl Teh at cteh@insider.com.


Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/f-16-jets-bomb-hoax-singapore-airlines-flight-2022-9