A mentally challenged passenger onboard a Malaysia Airlines flight threatened to detonate a bomb and attempted to enter the cockpit before he was restrained; the incident had forced the said flight to return to Australia, reported by police Thursday.
Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said that the passenger is a certain Sri Lankan, 25, who has been discharged from a psychiatric hospital on Wednesday before buying a late-night ticket bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia Airline flight 128 was 10 minutes into flight when the said passenger declared to “blow up the plane”. Passengers then were quick to disarm and subdue the passenger, while other passengers were panicking and in a state of shock. Passengers noticed that the Sri Lankan carried a device described as an “amplifier-type instrument”, or a Boombox portable music player as one Andrew Leoncelli described it.
The passengers and crew were lauded by Police Superintendent Tony Langdon for quite a heroic deed in subduing the nuisance passenger. A background check was done but no terrorist links were associated with him. The flight returned to the airport about 30 minutes after take-off.
The plane had to be secluded far from the rest for 90 minutes as bomb experts searched the plane for potential explosives on board.
Charges will be filled to the suspect on grounds of endangering a plane or making a false threat. Such charges serves 10 years of jail time maximum.
The man was identified to be a culinary student in Australia.
Source: Bangkok Post