Plane Ditches Takeoff Over Crash Photos

Passengers on a jet taxiing in Israel received unsolicited images on their phones
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2022 1:45 PM CDT
Plane Ditches Takeoff Over Crash Photos
This 2013 photo shows the wreckage of the Asiana Flight 214 after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport. On Tuesday, a Turkish flight at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport was delayed after passengers received images from this and other crashes via AirDrop.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – A flight bound from Israel to Turkey aborted takeoff after passengers received a series of unsolicited plane-crash photos on their phones. Per the BBC, the Turkish AnadoluJet carrying 160 passengers was taxiing at Ben Gurion Airport when the crew received reports of the disturbing images. Taking no chances, the plane's captain chose to return to the terminal and passengers deboarded. Images included a 2009 Turkish Airlines crash in the Netherlands and a 2013 crash in the US. After inspection, passengers were permitted to reboard, and the plane was cleared for takeoff again after a five-hour delay.

Newsweek says 16 passengers received the images via AirDrop, an iPhone file-sharing app that allows users to “drop” items to any devices in the vicinity. The Israel Airports Authority praised the pilot's decision, according to the Times of Israel, which also reports that police later arrested nine Israelis—all from the same village in northern Israel, and all about 18 years old. The young suspects were all passengers on the plane; they are being held on suspicion of “spreading out false information that caused fear and panic among the public.”

Asked about a motive, an IAA spokesperson said, “I’m sure the police and the security authorities will find out why [the suspects] did it,” reports the Jerusalem Post. Although officials reported no injuries, one passenger told a local reporter that “one woman fainted, another had a panic attack” during the ordeal, also per the Post. This is the second high-profile security incident at Ben Gurion in recent weeks. Late last month, an American family caused panic when they arrived for a flight home carrying a live artillery round, which they thought would make a nice souvenir. (Read more Ben Gurian International Airport stories.)

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