Passenger arrested over KQ bomb scare

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A man was Wednesday arrested for allegedly raising a false bomb alarm in a Johannesburg-bound Kenya Airways plane that led to a temporary shutdown of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority director-general Gilbert Kibe said that a commotion begun after an argument ensued between a flight attendant and the passenger.

He said the passenger mentioned the word ‘bomb’ just before the plane took off, causing a scare that led to the grounding of the aircraft that was scheduled to depart JKIA at 1pm, but later flew at 7:30pm.

“This is an act of unlawful interference. The police are set to press criminal charges against him,” said Mr Kibe.

“Some flights were diverted to Kilimajaro International Airport but we did not close the runway,” he said.


In an update later in the day, Kenya Airways apologised for inconveniences. The flight had 109 passengers.

"Diverted flights have also been cleared to land at the JKIA as the temporary shutdown has been lifted."

KQ spokesperson Dennis Kashero said the plane was headed for OR-Tambo International Airport in South Africa.

“KQ would like to report that the passenger who raised the bomb scare has been taken into police custody,” Mr Kashero said, without revealing the person's identity.