A KLM flight from Amsterdam was evacuated in Quito, Ecuador, on Sunday June 25, after a bomb threat was received. The plane was carrying 231 passengers and 11 crew members.
Flight KL786, operated by a Boeing 777-200ER registered PH-BQL, landed at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) at around 1:00 p.m. local time. Shortly after landing, the Quito airport authorities received a bomb threat.
The aircraft was evacuated and passengers moved to a secure part of the airport while a bomb squad from the Ecuadorian National Police searched the aircraft.
The search took several hours and involved the deployment of trained bomb-sniffing dogs, but no explosives were found.
Police and DGAC statements
A statement posted by Policia Ecuador on its social media page read:
“Faced with an alert of an explosive device inside a plane that came from #Ámsterdam and landed at the #UIO airport, @PoliciaEcuador has deployed its specialized units. The aircraft was escorted to a safe place and the passengers were evacuated for the corresponding registration. News in development…”
The aviation regulator Dirección General de Aviación Civil del Ecuador (DGAC) subsequently stated:
“The Quito Airport Emergency Operations Committee informs that after verification of GIR and having carried out all the procedures, the presence of an explosive device on the KLM flight from Amsterdam is ruled out.”
The passengers were eventually allowed to re-board the aircraft and the flight continued to its destination, Guayaquil. The authorities are still investigating the source of the bomb threat.
The incident caused a significant disruption to the flight schedule at Quito airport. The airport was briefly evacuated and all flights were delayed.
Second incident in recent months
This is the second time in recent months that a KLM flight has been evacuated due to a bomb threat. In March 2023, a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Chicago was evacuated after a bomb threat was received. That threat was also later found to be false.
Bomb threats are a serious matter and can cause significant disruption to flights and airports. The authorities are taking the threat in this case very seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation.
In the meantime, passengers should be aware of the potential for bomb threats and should report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
The authorities are still investigating the source of the bomb threat.