Bomb hoax grounds Qatari plane at Beirut airport

A bomb scare grounded a Qatari airplane at Beirut International Airport Monday, airport officials said.

Airport security officials said the Doha-bound Qatar Airways jetliner, an Airbus 320, had just taken off from the airport when a Lebanese passenger apparently joking with a hostess who attempted to put away his handbag told her it had a bomb that would explode if he touched it.

The hostess informed the captain who made the decision to return to the airport.

The plane's 99 passengers were evacuated and a thorough search of the plane was conducted. No explosives were found and passengers were to re-board the plane for their flight, said the officials, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

The man was arrested, they added.


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