Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bomb scare: Passengers evacuated from AirAsia flight

SEPANG - An AirAsia flight bound for Banda Acheh with 123 passengers and six crew was grounded yesterday after a passenger who exclaimed the word "bomb" caused a stir on board the aircraft.

After being alerted by a steward of what was uttered by a 76-year-old male passenger, pilots of the aircraft of flight AK423 which was minutes away from departure about 7.50am promptly returned to the KLIA 2 airport's isolated parking area. Police were notified and passengers were evacuated from the aircraft soon after.

A police bomb disposal unit thoroughly scoured the aircraft for suspected explosives but found none.

Police who detained the elderly passenger later gave the airline the all clear to resume its flight.

It is learnt that the aircraft was taxiing to the runway minutes before departure when stewards and stewardess on board began their routine safety demonstration on the use of life jackets and emergency escape procedures.

While conducting the demonstration, a steward had apparently placed a bag containing a life vest and other items on the armrest of a seat occupied by the suspect who had dozed off earlier.

When he was awakened by his friend who was seated next to him, he spotted the steward's bag. He asked his friend about it and when his friend did not know, the suspect exclaimed "ada bomb kot" (perhaps its a bomb).

ACP Abdul Aziz Ali said the suspect remains in police custody for investigations.

He said the man claimed that he was tired after waking up early yesterday to prepare for himself for the flight.

"A steward had informed the pilots who took the decision to turn around and have the aircraft inspected by police. We have many times in the past advised and reminded air passengers never to utter "sensitive" words such as "bomb" as it can lead to untoward situations such as this." he said.

Police said there were eight similar cases at the KLIA and KLIA 2 until May this year compared to seven cases reported throughout last year.

He said those detained for such offences could face charges for inciting fear under Section 506 of the Penal Code which metes out a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment or a fine or both if found guilty.

AirAsia in statement said as a precautionary measure, a bomb threat search was conducted by the authorities and the situation was handled according to the standard operating procedures when dealing with such situation.

"The aircraft has been declared safe by the authorities," AirAsia said.

The AirAsia flight to Banada Acheh departed from KLIA2 at 2.13pm.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad meanwhile, said they had been informed of a bomb threat on aboard an aircraft at KLIA2.

"MAHB worked closely with the airline and all relevant authorities to resolve the situation," read the statement, adding there had been no impact on flight operations for other aircraft.

No comments:

Post a Comment