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Hijack fears after Spanish jet loses contact

Fighter jets were scrambled and put on hijack alert after lost radio contact led to fears a passenger plane had been hijacked.

The scare happened when the Spanish Veuling airline crew lost all radio contact with Dutch ground control, who sent two F-16 fighter jets to intercept the plane and escort it the airport.

Witnesses who saw the drama took to Twitter to suggest the plane may have been hijacked.

But officials said airport security staff were simply following standard procedure for when radio contact is lost with passenger jets.

They added there was no danger to passengers or crew.

The Airbus A320, which was carrying about 180 passengers, landed safely at Schipol airport where it was surrounded by Dutch hostage negotiators who were assured by the pilot there was nothing to worry about.

"There was never any danger. There was a lack of communication between the pilot and the tower and the airport has activated the security protocol," a spokeswoman for the Spanish carrier Vueling said.

A passenger on board the plane told Dutch broadcaster NOS that nothing unusual was happening.

"In fact nothing was going on. We had to fly a few rounds. We are now waiting in the plane, the doors are still closed. But there is no hijack," NOS quoted the person as saying.

All the passengers and crew have now left the aircraft - Sky News.