A 67-year-old Polish air passenger may face up to 15 years in jail for his joke about a bomb that forced a plane from Warsaw enroute to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Egypt, to make an emergency landing in Bulgaria’s Burgas airport Thursday morning, Novinite.com says.
In a mid-air drama, the man, whose identity was not revealed, ‘alerted’ the crew about a bomb on the plane.
The crew on board Airbus A320 of Polish Small Planet Airlines took his “joke” seriously.
The Airbus A320 of Polish Small Planet Airlines carrying 161 passengers on board made an emergency landing in Burgas and all passengers were evacuated, according to Bulgaria’s Nova TV.
“There is no explosive device on board the airplane,” the interior ministry said after conducting a second check of the plane.
A police spokeswoman said the passenger admitted having consumed alcohol.
Earlier, when questioned by police, another passenger said: “Already at the airport, the man joked what would be done to him if he had a bomb.”
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov praised the security forces’ quick response.
“You saw how quickly our forces in Burgas acted after an absolutely false signal,” he said. “Such a big concern all because of a drunken Pole … but still it was a kind of training.”
Bulgaria has tightened controls at borders and airports after Friday’s terror attacks in Paris killed 129 people.
The airport in Burgas was the site of a terrorist attack in July 2012 when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a passenger bus transporting Israeli tourists.
The attack claimed the lives of the Bulgarian driver of the bus and five Israeli tourists.