Malaysia Airlines jet diverted in Australia over bomb scare

Malaysia Airlines jet diverted in Australia over bomb scare

Chaudhery tweeted to reporters the passenger involved was under the influence of "drug or alcohol". reports the flight left Melbourne at 11:11 p.m. local time only to return 30 minutes later, landing at the same airport at 11:41 p.m.

Passengers' cellphone images and video showed heavily armed security forces moving through the aisles of the plane as they carried the man off the aircraft.

The Sri Lankan national was overpowered by crew members and passengers who used belts from their trousers to tie his hands as the airliner returned to Melbourne.

Malaysia Airlines said the plane landed safely and the man was immediately apprehended by airport security.

"The passenger, a Sri Lankan national, claimed to have a bomb".

He said the man was carrying an electronic device that police quickly realised was not a bomb.

Passengers and crew on Flight MH128 tackled the man and tied him up with seat belts until the flight landed, one witness told Reuters.

Stating that a follow up investigation will be initiated upon the return of the aircraft, Liow said the passengers' safety remains a top priority in this instance. The plane turned back to Melbourne airport when the incident began.

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The passenger was later arrested by Australian authorities in Melbourne.

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

The airport was put on lockdown following the incident, and there has been no word yet as to when flights to or from Melbourne Airport will resume.

The airline stressed that the plane was never hijacked.

But the plane returned to Melbourne after the operating captain was alerted by the cabin crew of the disruptive passenger, the airline said.

The incident happened shortly after Malaysia flight MH128 took off from Melbourne's Tullamarine airport late on Wednesday night.

Coming three years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing during a flight from from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the incident jangled nerves and caused delays for travelers.

Ashton described the device the man carried as an "amplifier-type instrument".

"The crews invoked emergency procedures and returned to the airport and Australian Federal Police responded, entering the aircraft and removing that male".

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