Malaysia Airlines grounded as passenger seeks to enter cockpit

Elias Hubbard
June 11, 2017

The passengers and crew managed to tie the man's hands with seatbelts and subdue him until the plane landed back in Melbourne. "But it was not a bomb but a powerbank", Aziz said.

Passengers said heavily-armed police personnel wearing camouflage gear and helmets entered the plane about 90 minutes after it landed and arrested the man. Passengers were not allowed to leave the plane before that.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH128 is expected to land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) today, following last night's incident at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport.

Passengers were forced to endure a 30-minute ordeal while the plane returned to the airport.

However, the operative captain returned the plane after receiving an alert from cabin crew about bombing suspicion. "The man did not gain entry to the cockpit".

Malaysia's state-owned airline has had two recent high-profile disasters.

Following the incident, police had to record statements from all passengers, reported The Star Online yesterday.

"Passengers have safely disembarked the aircraft and will be screened by Australian authorities". The airline also stressed "that at no point was the aircraft "hijacked".

It is not believed to have been a terrorism-related incident.

Images posted on social media showed armed police officers on board the plane and the suspect on the ground in plastic handcuffs.

Passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines MH128 wait to speak with investigators after their Kuala Lumpur-bound flight was forced to return to Melbourne Airport because of a disruptive passenger.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement the incident would be investigated by the airline and by airport authorities. They were given accommodations at hotels and offered next available flights by the airline or other carriers.

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

Police said passengers were speaking to investigators, adding: "There appears to be no imminent threat to passengers, staff or public and the investigation is ongoing".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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