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Arrests Made Over Plane Crash Images Sent To Aborted Flight

by : Joe Harker on :
Arrests Made Over Plane Crash Images Sent To Aborted Flight
Arrests Made Over Plane Crash Images Sent To Aborted Flight (Alamy/Getty/IAA)

Nine people have been arrested in Israel following an incident where a flight was aborted after images of plane crashes were sent to passengers' phones.

The plane had been due to leave Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport and travel to Istanbul but instead taxied back to the terminal after those aboard were sent pictures using the iPhone's AirDrop feature.

Those who approved the request and received the pictures were shown horrific images of planes that had crashed.

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According to The Indian Times, police have since arrested nine suspects who have been described as Israeli citizens who were among the passengers on board the plane.

The incident is not being treated as a cyberattack and the suspects could be prosecuted for disseminating false information, which carries a maximum prison sentence of three years in Israel.

This image of a Boeing 777 which crash landed in 2013 was sent to passengers on the plane. Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
This image of a Boeing 777 which crash landed in 2013 was sent to passengers on the plane. Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

What might have motivated the nine suspects to send images of plane crashes to other passengers on their flight is as yet unknown.

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Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, said he was 'sure the police and the security authorities will find out why they did it'.

Lefler was able to confirm that passengers raised the alarm after some of them accepted the AirDrop notification and the plane was later able to travel safely to its destination in Turkey.

He said: "Passengers alarmed by the images informed the flight crew, and the pilot made the right call in heading back to the gate.

"The plane took off hours late after a security check of the plane, luggage and those onboard."

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Also among the pictures sent to passengers were images of Turkish Airlines Flight 195, which crashed in 2009. Credit: Radio Nederland Wereldomroep/Fred Vloo via WikimediaCommons
Also among the pictures sent to passengers were images of Turkish Airlines Flight 195, which crashed in 2009. Credit: Radio Nederland Wereldomroep/Fred Vloo via WikimediaCommons

According to Forbes, this is not the first time a plane has had to delay taking off after suspicious images were sent to passengers via AirDrop.

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Last year, a plane at San Francisco International Airport was evacuated after passengers were sent a photo of a gun, which turned out to be a picture of an airsoft gun which fires nonlethal pellets.

In that incident the picture had been sent by a teenage passenger.

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Meanwhile, earlier this year a flight from Orlando International Airport was delayed after a 10-year-old AirDropped a threat to a passenger.

Armed police surrounded the plane before it was determined that the threat had been sent by a child attempting to prank someone.

AirDrop allows an individual to send things to strangers up to 30 feet away as long as a person's iPhone settings allow them to receive files from everyone.

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