SIA flight grounded at Johannesburg airport after bomb threat, all 73 individuals safe

Early morning scare.

Lean Jinghui | Hannah Martens | March 15, 2023, 10:27 AM

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A Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight was grounded at O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa after a bomb threat was made on Tuesday, Mar. 14.

According to the official Twitter account of Johannesburg's international airport, SQ478 had landed and was grounded as the airport had been notified of an alleged bomb onboard the flight.

Emergency services were immediately activated, along with the Fire and Rescue and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The SIA aircraft was declared safe by SAPS at approximately 11:39am, after a screening was completed by local K9 units.

According to The Straits Times, no bomb was found.

The aircraft was eventually able to depart for its destination one hour later, at approximately 12:37pm (South Africa Standard Time).

Flight from Singapore to Cape Town

According to FlightAware, a flight tracking platform, SQ478 had originally departed from Singapore, and was transiting at Johannesburg, before arriving at Cape Town, South Africa.

Image via FlightAware website

Image via FlightAware website

Following the bomb threat, the flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town was delayed by about five hours.

58 passengers and 15 crew landed safely

In response to Mothership's queries, an SIA spokesperson confirmed that the airline was alerted to a bomb threat concerning SQ478 (Johannesburg to Cape Town) on Mar. 14.

The case was referred to the authorities, it added.

All 73 individuals onboard – comprising 58 passengers and 15 crew – disembarked the aircraft safely, and "supplementary security checks" were conducted.

After the security checks were completed, the aircraft arrived safely in Cape Town at 2:29pm, about five hours behind schedule.

The spokesperson added: "Singapore Airlines takes the safety of our customers and staff very seriously. As this is a security matter, we regret that we are unable to provide further details."

SIA also shared that it is assisting the authorities with their investigations.

Top images via Singapore Airlines Facebook