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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 01:58 GMT 02:58 UK
Greek bomb scare flight cleared
The aircraft grounded at Shannon
It is the second such incident in three days
A New York-bound Olympic Airways flight diverted to Ireland because of a bomb alert has resumed its journey.

The Airbus A340 - with 295 passengers on board - took off from Shannon Airport after a police search found nothing suspicious on board.

The passengers had been taken off the plane and subjected to security checks by Irish police.

An Athens newspaper received warning of a bomb on board, the airline said - the second such incident in three days.

Greek officials have said the incident is an "absolute carbon copy" of an incident on Sunday.

Then, Olympic Airlines flight 411 landed at Stansted in the UK after a bomb alert.

That plane was en route from Athens to New York when a Greek newspaper took anonymous phone calls saying there was a bomb on board.

RAF jets were scrambled and escorted the plane, with 301 passengers and crew, to Stansted, near London.

The aircraft resumed its flight to New York on Monday.

'Copy-cat fears'

The second aircraft, with a crew of 12, took off from Athens at 1013 GMT, Olympic Airlines' Melina Pitta said.

"There was a call to a local newspaper around 3.45pm (1245 GMT) saying a bomb on the plane would explode in an hour," she added.

The airline spokeswoman said US authorities had refused permission for the plane to land at New York's JFK airport.

The BBC's John Helm in Dublin says the plane was diverted as a precaution and that security checks in Athens are exhaustive.

David Learmount, operations and safety editor of Flight International magazine, told the Press Association news agency there were concerns that this incident could spark off copy-cat actions that could disrupt airline services.




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