Dry Ice Causes Security Concern On KLM Boeing 737 To Glasgow

On October 4th, Glasgow police were alerted to a suspicious package onboard a KLM flight arriving from Amsterdam. Upon landing, the Boeing 737-800 had an “exclusion zone” set up around it while police investigated, according to the Aviation Herald. What ended up triggering this alarming response? A package of dry ice had begun to leak.

KLM Boeing 737 Amsterdam
The Boeing 737-800 belonging to KLM was greeted in Glasgow by police. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The KLM Boeing 737-800 that was involved had registration PH-BCG. Performing flight KL1473, the aircraft had flown from Amsterdam and was approaching Glasgow when a security alert was raised at Glasgow Airport. This was due to a mystery package onboard the aircraft.

The emergency response

15 minutes after the alarm was raised, the aircraft performed a safe landing, taxiing to the apron. This is where police had established their “exclusion zone”. Furthermore, the Sun reports that 20 fire crews descended on the runway with ambulances also in attendance.

Passengers report that they were led away in “groups of eight” in order to use the toilet while they waited in a cordoned-off area of the airport. However, it took the police three and a half hours for police to declare the package safe. According to the Sun, a spokesman for Glasgow Airport said:

“At approximately 10am today, the airport fire service attended an arriving KLM flight in response to concerns raised over a piece of cargo. The incident was stood down at 13.25 after the package was declared safe by emergency services.”

Dry Ice Causes Security Concern On KLM Boeing 737 To Glasgow
The incident-aircraft was performing KL1473 from Amsterdam to Glasgow. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

With a significant delay to KL1474, the flight returning to Amsterdam, the aircraft departed for the return flight about 4 hours after landing.

The suspicious package

Dutch News reports that the suspicious package on board the plane turned out to be a box containing dry ice with glass vials containing vaccines. In fact, numerous posts on Twitter report that the vaccines were for polio.
According to Dutch News, KLM said in a statement:
“KLM confirms that on board KL1473, operating between Amsterdam and Glasgow, a package packed in dry ice started to leak…These tubes have remained intact with only the cooling around them starting to leak. As a precaution, the fire brigade cordoned off the immediate vicinity of the aircraft. Passengers were never in danger but were taken off board as a precaution.”
KLM’s short-haul fleet consists of Boeing 737s and Embraer E190s for smaller KLM CityHopper flights. Photo: KLM

In conclusion, it looks like the authorities followed protocol and took the alarm seriously. Despite the unfortunate delay for the subsequent flight, its a great relief that the package was not an actual threat to passenger safety. If you were on board this flight and have anything to add, we would love to hear from you in the comments section!