US Airforce Plane Takes Off During Hijack Scare
Reported by Alison McCulloch at Christchurch International Airport
A US Airforce Starlifter jet aircraft from the US Deep Freeze Airforce base located at Christchurch is taxiing to take off at the "closed" Christchurch International Airport.
The plane is part of a squadron of aircraft involved with supplying the US Antarctic Program based at McMurdo sound.
It appears that the airport is closed - but not completely closed - to air traffic.
McCulloch who is at the airport by chance en-route to Rotorua reports that the plane involved in the hijack/bomb scare is now parked on runway used in north westerly winds quite a way from the terminal.
It has some cars around it and some people crouching as if in fear of it blowing up.
McCulloch says Police with dogs are searching the terminal building. And police have said they are searching the plane for a bomb.
UPDATE: 11.05am the Domestic terminal has now reopened to passengers.