Suspicious situation on Schiphol flight; concourse partially evacuated

Netherlands police uniform
A police officer walking the beat in Amsterdam. 5 May 2015. (Photo: Joeppoulssen / DepositPhotos)

A large contingent of authorities and officers were dispatched to the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Wednesday night because of an incident on an aircraft. "We are currently investigating a suspicious situation aboard an aircraft at Schiphol," said the Marechaussee, a branch of the Dutch military tasked with protecting airports and borders.

The incident was a false alarm, according to airline Air Europa.

About 27 people boarding an aircraft when a pilot in the cockpit pressed an emergency distress button on the control console, according to broadcaster NOS. Boarding was immediately halted, and the emergency response was initiated.

All passengers and crew were safely removed from the plane, according to the Marechaussee. This information was also confirmed by the airport.

The affected flight was destined for Madrid, Spain, according to NOS. Three flights were scheduled to depart Amsterdam for the Spanish capital on Wednesday night. Air Europa flight 1094 was set to depart at 7:10 p.m., but was still on the ground at 8:40 p.m. with an unexplained delay, according to the airline's website. The site said the flight's departure time was likely to take place at 8:50 p.m., but according to the airport the flight's status was not updated with a new departure time.

An arrest team was called to the scene, and the D concourse was partially evacuated, according to Nu.nl. Police and paramedics were dispatched to the scene as well as at least one trauma team by helicopter dispatched at 7:40 p.m.

The other two flights were Iberia Express flight 3725 which departed at 7:10 p.m., and KLM flight 1707 which was scheduled to depart at 8:45 p.m., with the status listed as "gate closing" at 8:38 p.m.

The incident was taking place at gate D3, according to newspaper De Telegraaf, with other sites reporting the incident is connected to an Air Europa flight at gate D7. A rumor that a Dutch F-16 fighter jet took off to patrol airspace was refuted by the Defense Ministry, wrote Nu.nl

First responders elevated the emergency response to a Grip 3, a protocol for a coordinated effort between agencies. The Grip 3 was established at about 7:40 p.m., with authorities unified under a single incident commander. The protocol requires notification of the mayor for the affected municipality, so they can meet with policy leaders over the issue, as well as the Commissioner to the King for the province.

"The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee is currently investigating a situation on board of a plane at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. We keep you posted," the airport said on social media.

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