Egypt jet in emergency landing in Uzbekistan

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An Egyptian passenger plane, en route from Cairo to Beijing, makes an emergency landing in Uzbekistan due to a bomb threat, a report says.

According to Press TV, state carrier Uzbekistan Airways said on Wednesday that there were 118 passengers and 17 crew members on board, all of whom were safely evacuated.

Egyptian aviation sources said a false bomb threat forced the EgyptAir flight to make the emergency landing.

The plane, an Airbus A-330-220, landed in Uzbekistan three hours after it took off from Cairo at around 11:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

It landed at the airport in the town of Urgench, about 840 kilometers (600 miles) west of the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

Officials said an anonymous caller telephoned security agents at the Cairo airport to say that a bomb was on board the flight. The plane was searched after landing, but no explosives were found, they said.

EgyptAir has received a number of bomb threats since one of its aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean on May 19, killing all 66 people aboard the Airbus A320 jetliner. All those threats have turned out to be hoaxes.

Egypt’s aviation industry has been under international scrutiny since Oct. 31, when a Russian Airbus A321 crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people aboard.

The plane was traveling to St. Petersburg from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Russia said the crash was caused by a bomb planted on the plane, and the local branch of Daesh claimed responsibility.

The incidents have further damaged Egypt’s tourism industry which is already reeling from years of political turmoil.

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