Bomb threat prompts aircraft evacuation at Schiphol; One arrested
Update, 6:05 p.m., 9 December 2020: This article was updated to note that the cause for alarm was a bomb threat.
Authorities in the Netherlands evacuated an airplane at Schiphol Airport on Wednesday afternoon after a bomb threat was made about a flight. Police arrested one person in Haarlem who authorities suspect of making the threat. There were no reported injuries.
"The aircraft was evacuated earlier this afternoon and is currently under investigation in connection with a bomb threat," said the Marechaussee on social media. The military branch is tasked with securing the country's borders, including its airports.
The aircraft involved was rumored to be KLM flight 1115 to Stockholm, which was supposed to depart at 2:35 p.m. The flight was delayed for nearly three hours and then cancelled, according to the airline's website. A spokesperson for the airline referred NL Times back to the Marechaussee, and would neither confirm nor deny that their aircraft was being examined.
The incident was confirmed just after 3:30 p.m., with the Marechaussee saying they were "investigating a suspicious situation" on the plane. A portion of the D Pier at the eastern end of Schiphol was closed while the investigation was carried out, including an extensive search of the aircraft which was still taking place over an hour later.
Aside from some departures and arrivals which were moved away from the D-Pier to facilitate the investigation, the incident did not have much of an impact on airport operations, a Schiphol spokesperson told NL Times. Passengers were advised to pay attention to the display boards at the airport and to the Schiphol website for the most current information.
Emergency services records show that a heavy response was ordered to the scene just before 2:55 p.m., with police assistance also requested. Immediately, a Grip 2 disaster response was ordered, which coordinates all responding personnel under a single incident commander, and also establishes a regional command post. Communication would also have been established between those managing the response, Haarlemmermeer Mayor Marianne Schuurmans-Wijdeven, and her advisors.
A trauma team was also sent by helicopter to the area at around 3:15 p.m. The Kennemerland Security Region confirmed that a large response was dispatched to the airport, but did not comment further.
Earlier in the day, firefighters also responded to an alarm on the D Pier at 1:40 p.m., and the G Pier about 35 minutes later.