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Bomb threat forces UK-bound plane from Pakistan to land in Turkey; all passengers evacuated
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) ' A U.K.-bound Pakistan International Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Istanbul on Wednesday after it received a bomb threat over Bulgaria, state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
Authorities quickly evacuated all 378 passengers from the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft after it was parked at a remote corner of the International Ataturk Airport, and bomb squads began searching the plane with sniffer dogs, Anatolia reported.
The plane received the threat somewhere near the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, and contacted the control tower in Istanbul to seek permission for the landing.
Television footage showed the PIA plane with the Pakistani flag painted on its tail on the tarmac in Istanbul with about a dozen ground workers nearby apparently after the plane was evacuated. Firefighter trucks and ambulances were on standby at a safe distance.
The plane took off from the Pakistan capital Islamabad and was heading to Manchester, England, the agency said.