x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Dutch air force escorts plane to Schiphol airport after bomb scare

Authorities evacuate parts of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport after workers find an unexploded World War II bomb, forcing airlines to delay and cancel some flights.

AMSTERDAM--The Netherlands' Royal Air Force today escorted a passenger jet to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport after miscommunication between the plane's pilot and the control tower, Dutch broadcaster NOS reports on its website.

The plane departed from Malaga, Spain, and was operated by Spain's Vueling Airlines SA (VLG.MC), NOS said.

Reports that the plane was hijacked were unfounded, the broadcaster said.

Authorities had earlier today evacuated parts of the airport after workers found an unexploded World War II bomb, forcing airlines to delay and cancel some flights.

The German bomb was discovered buried underground near the transport hub's busy Terminal C, which handles flights to most major European destinations, the Dutch Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Schiphol cleared and closed Terminal C, parts of Terminal D and one landing strip, an airport spokeswoman said.

A handful of European flights were cancelled, while several dozen were delayed, she added.

The 500kg explosive, uncovered during construction work, would be taken to a safe location and dismantled, the ministry said.

Schiphol was a military airport during World War Two. It was bombed both by the Germans at the start of the conflict and by Allied forces during the fighting.

Flights by airline KLM, which is part of Franco-Dutch group Air France KLM and uses Schiphol as its main hub, were affected, Schiphol's website showed.

Schiphol is Europe's fifth busiest airport and handled about 45 million passengers in 2010.

It is owned by the Dutch state, the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and French airports operator Aeroports de Paris .