Flight halted after horrifying photos sent to passengers’ phones before take-off

Horrifying pictures of plane crashes mysteriously sent to passengers halted a flight leaving the runway.

A plane returned to its airport terminal before being evacuated and having all luggage on board searched following a chilling scare in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The flight was aborted only moments before take-off when concerned passengers raised an alarm to receiving images of plane disasters, allegedly via iPhone AirDrop.

Extra security checks were carried out at Ben Gurion Airport for the 160 passengers bound for Istanbul, but authorities have not disclosed how many were sent disturbing images.

Some people were sent a picture of a crashed Turkish Airlines in Amsterdam in 2009 which killed nine people.

Others received the remains of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crash landed in a fireball in San Francisco in 2013.

A passenger, identified only as Diana, told Channel 12: "One woman fainted, another had a panic attack."

Police have arrested nine Israeli citizens as suspects who if found guilty of disseminating false information, could be jailed for up to three years.

The Israel Airports Authority confirmed a security alert arose when passengers on the Boeing 737 operated by Turkish Airlines' AnadoluJet, showed the crew pictures as they were taxiing.

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Some of the photos which sparked fears have been published by Israeli broadcaster Kan.

One passenger told Kan News: "We got on the flight and the plane started moving. Most people received a request for a photo confirmation in AirDrop, some approved and some did not.

"The plane stopped and the flight attendants asked who got the pictures."

Police surrounded the plane during the evacuation, the passenger said.

They added: "The airport manager told us there was a security incident.

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"They took all our luggage out of the plane for a second check."

It remains a mystery who was behind the apparent AirDrop. It is now under investigation and reports from the airport state that the authorities suspect it was someone onboard.

Airports Authority spokesman Ofer Lefler said: "All passengers and luggage are now undergoing an additional inspection.

"The Israeli police and other security officials are also investigating the incident."

The IAA said the plane could finally set off once security staff had confirmed there was no threat.

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