Explosives discovered on board a cargo aircraft at East Midlands Airport could have detonated over the eastern USA, investigators have concluded.

Police removed a suspect device from the US-bound aircraft on 29 October, at 02:13, after the flight arrived from Cologne.

Forensic examination has determined that, if the device had activated, it would have done so eight hours later at 10:30 UK time, or 05:30EDT.

The UK's Metropolitan Police states: "If the device had not been removed from the aircraft the activation could have occurred over the eastern seaboard of the USA."

It adds that the device, contained in a computer printer, was "disrupted" by explosives specialists at East Midlands at around 07:40 on the day. The interruption followed the removal of the printer cartridge.

No-one was injured during the incident. Once the device had been removed the aircraft departed East Midlands at 04:20.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news