Man charged over flight bomb hoax

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A man has been charged over an alleged bomb hoax which led to an aircraft being diverted, reports the Press Association.

Alan Patey, 49, of no fixed address, has been charged with making a bomb hoax and will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today.

A 57-year-old man who was also arrested after the plane was forced to land at Stansted Airport in Essex remains on police bail until tomorrow.

The Sri Lankan Airlines A330 Airbus, which was carrying 267 passengers and crew, was due to land at Heathrow Airport but was diverted to Stansted just after 7.30pm on Friday.

Sources said the drama unfolded after a passenger was overheard claiming "something" was on board the flight in the luggage hold.

The Sri Lankan Airlines plane was flying from Colombo to Heathrow Airport when it was forced to make an emergency landing after two male passengers were suspected of "endangering" the aircraft.

According to the BBC, the A330 Airbus was carrying 267 passengers and crew. The remaining passengers were taken to a reception centre and later transferred to Heathrow.

An Essex Police spokesman told the BBC: "Officers boarded the aircraft and arrested two men on suspicion of endangering an aircraft.

"All passengers left the aircraft safely and have travelled onwards to Heathrow by coach."