Malaysia Airlines jet diverted in Australia over bomb scare

Elias Hubbard
June 2, 2017

He did not ask for bail or enter a plea; his next court date is scheduled for August 24.

Australia's Channel Nine News said on Twitter that other passengers had subdued the attacker and that the Airbus A330 had landed without anyone being injured. He did not have a bomb.

Armed officers from an elite police unit then boarded the flight, handcuffing him and escorting him off the plane.

Police said Marks has no "terrorist" links or associates.

Courageous passengers say they pounced on a man who allegedly threatened to blow up a flight out of Melbourne, putting him in a chokehold until he passed out.

Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the man had appeared drunk and referred to him as "a disruptive passenger".

Flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur was forced to turn back to the Australian airport shortly after taking off when a Sri Lankan passenger, who was holding an unknown device, attempted to enter the cockpit.

The man apparently shouted about bombing the plane, while the cabin crew tried to find where the said bomb was.

The device he was carrying later proved to be a portable music player.

"I've got a bomb and I'm going to fucking blow the plane up" before flight attendants and other passengers tackled and restrained him.

Andrew Leoncelli, a passenger on the flight, said the device had several aerials protruding from it.

"What we've learnt is that two or three courageous young Aussies have taken him on and got him to the ground, pulled the thing out of his hand". "We believe that the actions of the passengers and crew were quite heroic", Langdon said.

Some of the passengers criticized police handling of the incident, saying they were inside the plane on tarmac for more than 80 minutes, unsure if there was a bomb on their plane. Police wearing body armour took Marks off the plane.

Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews offered government support for the passengers stranded by the ordeal.

According to a report by Australian daily The Age, Manodh Marks, 25, was also charged with making threats or false statements and threatening to destroy, damage or endanger the safety of an aircraft or kill or injure anyone on board.

Such charges carry up to 10 years in prison.

The airline said the incident would be investigated.

"An investigation led by Australian authorities is now underway and Malaysia Airlines wishes to extend its appreciation to everyone involved during the emergency situation", the carrier said in a statement.

"It was a successful outcome in that point of view and any delay we want to keep to a minimum, but that was the reason for the amount of time it took to get the passengers off the flight".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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