**Update: 06/11/19 @ 19:57 UTC – The alert appears to have been instigated mistakenly on board the Air Europa flight, details below**
The Dutch gendarmerie is investigating what is being called a ‘suspicious situation’ on board an aircraft at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. While details regarding what’s going on are still sketchy, it appears that the situation is taking place on an Air Europa A330 aircraft which is on the apron at the Amsterdam airport.
Airline says ‘we sorry’
It appears that all the kerfuffle was for nothing, as a tweet by Air Europa seems to suggest that the alert was triggered accidentally.
#AirEuropaInfo Falsa Alarma. En el vuelo Ámsterdam – Madrid, esta tarde se activó, por error, un aviso que pone en marcha protocolos sobre secuestros en el aeropuerto. No ha pasado nada, todos los pasajeros se encuentran perfectamente esperando poder volar pronto. Lo lamentamos.
— Air Europa (@AirEuropa) November 6, 2019
Translating the tweet, it reads:
#AirEuropaInfo False alarm. On the flight Amsterdam – Madrid, this afternoon was triggered, by mistake, a warning that launches protocols on kidnappings at the airport. Nothing has happened, all passengers are perfectly waiting to fly soon. We sorry.
The false alarm was apparently triggered due to a button being inadvertently pressed. The situation is now under control, but at the time had triggered quite the response from the local security forces.
Emergency services ‘flocked’ to the airport
CNN has reported that emergency services flocked to the airport, and that an alarm was sounded. Numerous outlets are reporting that a Grip 3 report was issued by special forces in the Netherlands. This level of report indicates ‘an incident or serious event with major consequences for the population’.
— Kat Wolseley (@KatWolseley) November 6, 2019
The airport released an update via Twitter which simply said that the Marechaussee is investigating a situation on board a plane.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee is currently investigating a situation on board of a plane at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. We keep you posted. https://t.co/AxwMZ7CZtT
— Schiphol (@Schiphol) November 6, 2019
Media speculation was rife since the alarm was raised. The Mirror even went so far as to report that an Air Europa aircraft was hijacked by three men armed with knives. Breaking 911 also reported that the incident was taking place on board Air Europa flight UX1094 to Madrid that had been due to take off this evening.
Looking at Flight Radar, it seems incoming flights were still landing at the airport but had been holding at remote stands rather than proceeding to the terminal.
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) November 6, 2019
However, passengers at the airport have reported a state of lockdown, and a heavy armed-response presence.
— Global News Network (@GlobalNews77) November 6, 2019
— FNR- FRUM NEWS REPORT (@FrumNewsReport) November 6, 2019
Simple Flying is incredibly relieved that this turned out to be a false alarm. According to recent updates, things at Schiphol are slowly returning to normal. Passengers appear to be deplaning safely and aircraft are starting to get on the move.
The speed and effectiveness of the Marechaussee’s response has been nothing short of commendable. It’s great to know that we’re all in safe hands when passing through one of Europe’s busiest airports.