Money Matters - Simplified

China Airlines flight diverted after explosives threat

After the flight from Taipei to Shanghai's Pudong International Airport was diverted and made an emergency landing at Hangzhou, which is nearly 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, the authorities conducted a thorough search of the plane and the luggage of 293 passengers.

In an incident which occurred Saturday, a Taiwan's China Airlines flight bound for eastern Chinese city of Shanghai from the Taiwanese capital of Taipei was diverted after a passenger claimed that his luggage had explosives.

Spokesman Bruce Chen of Taiwan's China Airlines stated, “The passenger told the cabin crew very calmly that he had explosives in his luggage.”

Immediately, the pilot alerted the control tower in Shanghai, and the flight CI501, carrying 293 passengers and 20 crew members, was forced to divert to the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

No explosives found
After the flight from Taipei to Shanghai's Pudong International Airport was diverted and made an emergency landing at Hangzhou, which is nearly 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, the authorities conducted a thorough search of the plane and the luggage of 293 passengers.

Chen stated that the claims of the passenger turned out to be false as no explosives were found on board.

The passenger has been identified as 68-year-old George Lin, and is under questioning after he admitted that he made the comment as a joke.

The staff supervising the hot lines for the airports and for China Airlines said that they were not aware of any flight disturbance.

Taiwanese-American man detained
The passenger, who is a Taiwanese-American, traveling on a U.S. passport, was detained immediately by the authorities in Hangzhou after his claims turned out to be false.

The passenger has been identified as 68-year-old George Lin, and is under questioning after he admitted that he made the comment as a joke.

Lin did not seem to have been drinking a lot, Chen confirmed.

Mao Kun-yi of Taiwan's Aviation Police Office confirmed that a Taiwanese-American has been detained but did not comment on the case or confirm the arrest.

The plane, which was on ground for nearly four hours, then headed for Shanghai and landed at the Pudong International Airport, without any further incident, at around 5 p.m. (0900 GMT).

The regular direct flights between China and Taiwan were started in 2008 by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou with an aim to strengthen economic ties. Currently, there are nearly 270 weekly flights between the two countries.