Malaysia Airlines flight turned back to Melbourne after ‘drunk’ passenger threatens to ‘blow’ it
A Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight from Melbourne to Kauala Lumpur was diverted to Melbourne on Wednesday night after a “disruptive”passenger reportedly tried to enter the cockpit while claiming that he was carrying a bomb, Malaysia’s deputy transport minister said.
“It is not a hijack. One disruptive passenger tried to enter the plane's cockpit,” Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz told AFP.
Passengers reportedly subdued the attacker and the Airbus A330 landed at Melbourne Airport at Tullamarine without anyone being hurt.
The passenger, a Sri Lankan national who was apparently drunk, was later arrested at Melbourne Airport.
“The passenger... claimed to have a bomb. But it was not a bomb but a powerbank,” said Aziz.
“Everyone on board is safe. He was taken out of the plane handcuffed by Australian security officers,” he added.
The flight turned back about 20 minutes later and landed safely at 11.41pm.
A MAS statement said the flight turned back to Melbourne "after the operating Captain was alerted by a cabin crew of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit".
Safety and security are of Malaysia Airlines' utmost priority, the statement reiterated.
Malaysia Airlines has been hit by two major disasters, including the loss of MH370 in March 2014, in circumstances that remain unclear, and the shooting down of MH17 over Ukraine months later.
More than 520 people died in the combined disasters, which put the airline at risk of collapse.