MAS: "MH128 had not at any point been hijacked"

14 Juin, 2017, 20:47 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • MAS:

The man was overpowered by passengers but armed police entered the plane to make sure everything was okay.

Just after a takeoff, a male passenger on Flight MH128 tried to enter the cockpit while holding what one passenger described as a "huge, unusual, black, metallic, odd thing. size of a watermelon".

Passengers expressed displeasure with the police response, saying they were stuck in meters away from what they believed was an explosive device for hours.

Those passengers held the man on the floor "with eight feet" on his head, back and legs, and hog tied him as the flight turned around the returned to Melbourne Airport.

Other images showed passengers on the tarmac, after exiting the plane.

"He is claiming to have an explosive device".

While passengers suggested he was armed with a "detonator".

Witnesses described how the man, carrying an black object, went toward the front of the plane shortly after it took off at 11:11pm.

No-one is believed to have been injured.

A total of three Malaysia Airlines flights are now scheduled to depart Melbourne today.

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The passenger has been apprehended by airport security. Malaysia Airlines together with the Australian authorities will be investigating the incident.

In a statement, the airline said: "Safety and security are of Malaysia Airlines' utmost priority". The airline wishes to apologize for the inconvenience caused. The passengers have disembarked the aircraft in the meantime and have been taken to hotels.

Aircraft tracking website Flightradar said flights bound for Melbourne had been diverted to other airports because of the incident.

However, the operative captain returned the plane after receiving an alert from cabin crew about bombing suspicion.

Passengers onboard the flight remained inside Tullamarine airport.

Victoria Police confirmed that the man was unable to gain entry to the cockpit.

The airline's cabin crew, with the help of several passengers, managed to restrain the man, who was immediately handcuffed and subdued.

"There appears to be no imminent threat to passengers, staff or public and the investigation is ongoing".

Melbourne Airport was placed in lockdown after the incident, with flights resuming at 2:30 a.m., but travelers were urged to contact airlines for more information.

The airport was closed during the incident but has now reopened.

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