UK fighter jets escort plane as phone sparks security alert

LONDON (AP) — British authorities scrambled fighter jets to intercept a Ryanair plane after the crew reported a suspicious object, which turned out to be a mobile phone.

The Royal Air Force said Monday that two Typhoon aircraft were launched from a base in eastern England to escort the passenger plane on Sunday evening.

Police said a man from Kuwait and a man from Italy were arrested by counterterrorism officers after the flight from Vienna to Stansted airport, near London.

Both men were released without charge on Monday after a suspicious object discovered in one of the plane’s toilets was examined and “found not to be of concern,” the police Eastern Region Special Operations Unit said. It said the object was a phone.

“We understandably take any reports of suspicious objects or behavior on flights very seriously and thankfully on this occasion there was no cause for concern,” said Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, head of counterterrorism policing for the eastern region of England.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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