Second Bomb Threat on Athens-New York Flight

A BOMB-threatened Olympic Airways plane landed safely at Shannon airport yesterday after being diverted to Ireland following a warning telephoned to an Athens newspaper.

The New York-bound Airbus 340 with 295 passengers and 12 crew aboard was the second Olympic plane to be diverted in three days.

A massive security operation swung into action at Shannon after Olympic decided that the plane, which left Athens at 1. 10pm UK time, would have to be diverted.

All other inbound flights were diverted from Shannon and emergency personnel, an army bomb disposal team and local hospitals were put on standby.

The plane landed at Shannon just before 5pm, the passengers were evacuated and a full search of the aircraft began.

Olympic Airways spokeswoman Melina Pitt a said: ``The newspaper got a call at 1. 45pm UK time saying a bomb was on board and would explode in an hour.

``After a meeting it was decided the plane would make an emergency landing at Shannon as it was the nearest airport. ''

The incident follows the diverting to Stansted airport on Sunday of a New York-bound Olympic Airways plane after a similar warning.