Man charged over loo note on Virgin flight

Elias Hubbard
June 6, 2017

A man was arrested at Albury Airport at around 9:30am Tuesday soon after a Virgin Australia A330 plane landed from Sydney.

'Virgin Australia flight VA1174 from Sydney to Albury landed safely this morning, ' a statement from the company said in a statement.

NSW Police confirmed there had been an incident and a man wearing a red hat and a red jacket had been arrested.

A spokesperson later said: "It was just someone being very silly. At the end of the day, he caused a lot of angst and frightened a lot of people".

Police also stated that one man has been taken into custody and is assisting police with their inquiries.

He was later charged with sending a document threatening death or grievous bodily harm and giving false information.

The man was granted bail and will face court on 4 July. The threat was in the form of a note on a sick bag.

The passengers described the man as calm throughout the flight and said he got up and went to the toilet once.

A passenger said he heard cabin crew saying: "Leave your luggage".

According to media reports, officers arrested a male passenger on the tarmac.

Sydney retiree Wendy Willett, who was sitting in the aisle opposite the man, described the ordeal as "terrifying". "Leave all your belongings, jump out the window".

Virgin Australia said that it was a passenger who said "get out and run, run, run" and rather than wait for the stairs, those on board jumped down to the tarmac. Then someone said: "Get out and run, run, run!"

But a Virgin official said the words apparently came from a passenger caught up in the commotion.

Michelle McNamara, who works for a auto hire company in the Albury airport terminal, said plain-clothed police, uniformed officers, firefighters and ambulance crews closed off half the terminal during the operation.

"It's normally quiet, it's Albury Airport", she said. "It's a bit concerning".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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