Passengers reported to the flight crew that they had received pictures of crashing planes sent to their mobile phones.
A flight from Ben Gurion Airport to Turkey was grounded and delayed on Tuesday after many of the passengers received threatening messages on their phones.
The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) stated that while transporting a Turkish company’s plane from the sleeve to the take-off position, the passengers reported to the flight crew that they had received pictures of crashing planes sent to their mobile phones.
The captain of the plane decided to return the plane to the terminal and report to the security division at Ben Gurion Airport.
“Security crews are taking all necessary steps to ensure that there is no danger to passengers, including a re-inspection of the aircraft passengers and their luggage. All steps taken are in cooperation and coordination with the flight captain who has taken great responsibility in deciding to return the aircraft to the terminal,” the IAA stated.
“Immediately after we make sure that there is no risk to the plane and its passengers, the security division will allow the flight to continue on its way,” the Airports Authority said.
Some of the passengers were subsequently deplaned and taken for questioning, while the rest of the passengers and the plane were cleared for flight back to Turkey.
The photos were reportedly sent to the passengers’ phones using Apple’s AirDrop, which can transfer files among supported iOS devices by means of close-range wireless communication, and so only iPhone users received them. The photos were of a Turkish plane crash in the Netherlands in 2009 and a 2013 crash in San Francisco.