Sunday, July 27, 2008

US Intelligence, Scotland Yard Claim "No Bomb" Involved In Qantas Explosion Before Investigation Begins

Qantas Had Bomb Threat Against 747 On July 19

Even before Australian aviation investigators reached Manila, two of the world's biggest intelligence agencies were hitting favoured media sources deny that the explosion that ripped through the floor and the side of a Qantas jet was the work of terrorists.

The UK Telegraph runs big with this :

Sources from Scotland Yard said they did not believe an explosion had caused the damage and attributed the “gigantic hole” to problems with the plane's fusilage.

Flight QF30 was carrying 346 passengers and 19 crew from London to Melbourne when it was forced to make an emergency landing in Manila after it suddenly lost cabin pressure and dropped 20,000 feet.

And ABC News (US) enthusiastically helps in the hosing down process :
US law enforcement and intelligence officials say there is "no sign" that a bomb caused the gaping hole in the fuselage of a Qantas Airlines 747 early today over the Pacific.
"No sign", except for the "gaping hole" of course.

So how did Scotland Yard and "US law enforcement and intelligence officials" know for certain, or were confident enough at least to tell the media, there was no bomb in the baggage hold of this Qantas flight only hours after the explosion occurred, and before any investigation had even begun?

Aviation experts, however, are not so quick to dismiss the possibility of a bomb in the baggage hold, for good reason :

David Learmount, Safety Editor at Flight International Magazine, said: "It's possible there was some kind of explosive device in the suitcases. There's a hole where there shouldn't be."

But he stressed that other possible causes for the damage included physical damage or a corrosive that weakened the hull, making it give way.

He said the hole had exposed some bags in the hold which are usually contained in metal containers. "It's interesting to see them - how else could that be if not an explosion?"
Here's one of the more bizarre explanations for the explosion offered up through the media, the UK Telegraph again : spilled coffee!

Just in case readers of the American ABC News site didn't get the 'No Terror' message, they helped out with this amazing double headline of stated fact, with no attribution :

Only a week ago, more than 300 passengers were evacuated from a Qantas 747 at Los Angeles International Airport after a bomb threat :
...Qantas had been told of the threat by US authorities but declined to comment on the nature of the threat.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said agents searched the plane and the luggage for about six hours but found no explosives.

Detectives are now investigating who made the bomb threat.