Defence minister asks Canadians to 'remain vigilant' after Turkish Airlines bomb threat
Published Sunday, November 22, 2015 1:16AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 22, 2015 6:04PM EST
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is asking Canadians to “remain vigilant” and trust in the country’s security forces after a Turkish Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Halifax following a bomb threat Saturday night.
Speaking at a press conference from the Halifax International Security Forum Sunday afternoon, Sajjan said Canadians should stay alert in the wake of recent terror attacks and threats around the world.
“Even though we have a geographic separation from some of the issues going on right now, we need to remain vigilant. We need to trust in our security forces from the police all the way to the military, and trust in our system to be able to manage the level of threats.”
Sajjan said Canadians should also be proud of Halifax’s fast response to the bomb threat. The Turkish Airlines flight departed from Halifax Stanfield International Airport early Sunday morning after the plane was diverted to Canada.
The plane was scheduled to fly from New York to Istanbul on Saturday night when the threat came in at about 10:50 p.m. ET.
Flight TK2 safely landed in Halifax with 256 passengers on board. All passengers de-boarded and were bussed to a secure area at Stanfield International Airport.
Once the plane was cleared, the RCMP used police dogs trained in sniffing for explosives to search the aircraft and luggage.
Officials completed the search at 4:25 a.m. without finding any explosive devices, and the plane was cleared for flying.
Five passengers chose to remain on the ground, rather than to re-board the plane, CTV's Kayla Hounsell reported.
One woman, who was travelling from New York to Nepal, told Hounsell that she chose not to get back on the plane because she didn't want to worry her family.
Police are now investigating the origin of the threat.
Last Tuesday there were similar incidents, involving two Paris-bound Air France flights from Washington and New York. The flight from Washington was diverted to the Halifax airport after the airline received anonymous threats, and the other flight landed in Utah.
With files from CTV's Kayla Hounsell
Passengers boarding Halifax Transit busses to be taken to a secure area at the airport. pic.twitter.com/H1yfgZZXHd— Kayla Hounsell (@KHounsellCTV) November 22, 2015
Turkish Airlines Flt 2 has safely departed @hfxstanfield. Thanks to all who helped manage through the night. Good team work all round.— Halifax Airport (@HfxStanfield) November 22, 2015