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British Airways flight at Paris Charles de Gaulle evacuated over safety fears

British Airways flight held on runway at airport in Paris over security threat

A British Airways jet was evacuated Sunday at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris because of a "direct threat", officials said.

While the flight was scheduled to leave at 7:25 AM local time, passengers were told to evacuate shortly prior to takeoff due to a "direct threat" made against the French airport.

Dozens of armed officers and firefighters surrounded the plane headed to London's Heathrow Airport Sunday after they received a "security alert", a spokesman for France's national gendarme service said. And it was then the police and fire officials surrounded the plane on the tarmac.

British traveler James Anderson, 20, posted on Twitter, "Apparently an individual has made a direct threat to this aircraft".

Mr Anderson later tweeted: "Pilot: "Aircraft has been deemed absolutely safe". We will all be led off the aircraft and baggage searched in due course.

After an initial search was given the all clear, passengers are being put through X-rays and body scanners by armed officers. Now hold luggage being searched by dogs'.

He continued: "I believe the intention is to return to the same plane assuming the search is all clear".

"It was pretty intense disembarking the aircraft though - we had to step off the aircraft and form a single line with armed officers by the side of each of us with dogs".

According to British Airways: 'The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.

The flight eventually took off three hours later after security checks.

An airport spokesman confirmed the evacuation, saying it was for a "security reason". "We would never operate a flight unless it is safe to do so".

The scare came after Britain raised its terror threat level to "critical" after London Underground train bombing on Friday that left 30 people injured.