Malaysia Airlines flight forced to land over bomb scare

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia's Deputy Transport Minister Aziz Kaprawi was quoted in the Star, a local news outlet, saying the passenger was drunk.

Terrified plane passengers sat on the Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport tarmac for more than 80 minutes waiting for police to tell them if they had a bomb on board.

Mr Ashton said the man is a Sri Lankan national in Australia on a student visa, living in Dandenong and studying a hospitality course.

"He was taken out of the plane handcuffed by Australian security officers".

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.

Victoria Police said the man had allegedly threatened the safety of passengers and staff before being subdued.

Graham Ashton, chief commissioner of Victoria Police, said police initially treated the situation as a terrorist incident, meaning it would have been risky to rush to board the plane.

Australian Football League player Andrew Leoncelli, who was on the plane, said the man was carrying a device "the size of a watermelon" which had "antenna stuff coming off it".

Malaysia Airlines flight forced to land over bomb scare
Malaysia Airlines flight forced to land over bomb scare

Melbourne Airport has now re-opened and is accepting arriving and departing flights on the east-west runway.

MAS said an investigation led by Australian authorities is now underway and it expressed its appreciation to everyone involved during the emergency situation.

Saiqa Chaudhery, whose husband Arif was on the flight, told ChannelNewsAsia that other passengers then "tackled (the passenger) and tied him" up.

Malaysia Airlines said it would be investigating the incident with Australian authorities.

The "disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security" and other passengers were screened by authorities. All passengers have been safeuly disembarked from the plane.

The 25-year-old purchased a ticket for the flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur after he was released from the Monash Medical Centre in Clayton on Wednesday, said Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton in a report by Sydney Morning Herald. The airline also stressed "that at no point was the aircraft "hijacked".

MH128 landed safely at Melbourne Airport at 11.41pm (1.41am Thursday NZT), the company said.

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