CAIRO: A bomb threat forced an EgyptAir aircraft en route to Beijing from Cairo to make an emergency landing in Uzbekistan on Wednesday, Egyptian officials said.
All the 135 passengers and crew on board the Airbus A-330-220 were evacuated and the aircraft was being searched, the officials said.
The plane landed at the airport in the town of Urgench, about 840 kilometers (600 miles) west of the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, three hours after it took off from Cairo at around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
According to the Egyptian officials, an anonymous caller telephoned security agents at the Cairo airport to say a bomb was on board the flight. The agents immediately contacted the aircraft and ordered it to land at the nearest airport, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
In Russia, the news agency RIA Novosti quoted unnamed officials as saying the airport has been closed following the EgyptAir plane's emergency landing.
The incident came nearly three weeks after an EgyptAir flight crashed in the Mediterranean Sea as it was approaching the Egyptian coast while en route to Cairo from Paris. All 66 people on board were killed and the search for the plane's flight and data recorders, the so called black boxes is still underway.