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Bomb threat forces Jetstar plane to make emergency landing in Japan

Suspicious call was made from Germany to Tokyo's Narita airport

A plane operated by budget carrier Jetstar Japan made an emergency landing on Saturday morning at Chubu Centrair International Airport in central Japan following a bomb threat. Five passengers are said to have sustained minor injuries while evacuating via the airplane's inflatable slide.   © Kyodo

NAGOYA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A domestic flight operated by budget carrier Jetstar Japan made an emergency landing on Saturday morning at an international airport in central Japan following a bomb threat, according to the transport ministry, but no explosive device has been found by police.

Five passengers sustained minor injuries while evacuating via the airplane's inflatable slide following its arrival in Chubu Centrair International Airport in Aichi Prefecture at around 7:40 a.m. No one was hospitalized, according to the airline operator.

The threat was made at about 6:20 a.m. when the information center at Narita airport received a phone call from someone who said they had planted a bomb on the Jetstar plane, naming the specific flight, according to local police in Chiba Prefecture, where Narita airport is located.

The bomb threat was made in an international phone call from Germany, with the caller demanding to speak with the "manager," according to sources familiar with the matter. It was unclear who the caller was referring to.

The plane, bound for Fukuoka from Narita airport near Tokyo, had 136 passengers and six crew members. The runway was temporarily closed off.

The flight had started taxiing at Narita airport at 6:21 a.m., Jetstar said.

According to a passenger, less than an hour after takeoff, there was an in-flight announcement that the plane would make an emergency landing. Upon touchdown, another announcement was made to say a bomb may have been planted inside the plane.

A number of flights due to depart from Chubu airport were delayed or canceled following the incident, which took place at the start of a three-day long weekend in Japan.

Police cars and ambulances could be seen on the closed-off runway, while in the airport passengers on canceled flights as well as those from the threatened aircraft waited in long lines for refunds.

Jetstar Japan is under the wing of Jetstar Group, which provides low-cost fares for travelers across the Asia-Pacific region and is partly owned by Japan Airlines Co. and Australia's Qantas Group.

Currently, it operates 16 domestic routes and one international route.

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