01 June, 2017
A Malaysian Airlines plane was forced to return to Melbourne after a man attempted to break into the cockpit, claiming he had a bomb.
The flight had taken off from Melbourne Airport bound for Kuala Lumpur just after 11pm on Wednesday when the male passenger stormed into the business class section of the plane and demanded to speak to the pilot.
The plane safely landed at Melbourne Airport at 11:41 p.m., officials said.
Malaysia's Deputy Transport Minister Aziz Kaprawi was quoted in the Star, a local news outlet, saying the passenger was drunk.
The statement gave no other details of the incident.
Passenger Andrew Leoncelli told Fairfax the man screamed: "I've got a bomb and I'm going to f***ing blow the plane up" before flight attendants and other passengers tackled and restrained him.
A picture tweeted by one of the passengers appears to show the man face-down on the floor after being handcuffed.
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The passenger was arrested by airport security. "One disruptive passenger tried to enter the plane s cockpit", he told AFP.
Malaysia Airlines MH128 was boarded by armed police when it landed back in Melbourne.
Safety and security are of Malaysia Airlines' utmost priority.
A passenger named Andy said he heard the passenger threaten to blow up the plane about 10 minutes after the plane took off.
The passengers reportedly overpowered the man after he claimed to have explosives.
Flights to Melbourne airport were being diverted, according to the 24-hour aviation monitoring website Flight Radar, but the airport was reopened just after 2am on Thursday (4am NZT). The airline wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Passengers have been safetly removed from the plane are being accommodated at hotels or offered additional flights.