Dramatic audio recordings have captured the terrifying moment the pilot of MH128 was forced to call air traffic control after a man threatening to blow up the plane with a bomb tried to force his way into the cockpit.
‘We have a passenger trying to enter the cockpit. He is claiming to have an explosive device. He tried to enter the cockpit,’ the pilot can be heard saying calmly.
‘He has been overpowered by passengers, however we’d like to land and have the device checked out.’
Traumatised passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane, travelling from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur late on Wednesday night, had to wait an agonising 90 minutes on the tarmac before police finally stormed the plane.
Passengers were texting loved ones saying they thought they were going to die amid fears the device that the man brought on the plane was going to explode.
Police have arrested a 25-year-old man from Dandenong, Melbourne, after he allegedly boarded a plane flying to Kuala Lumpur and threatened to blow it up with a bomb Images of the terrifying moment the attacker was subdued by passengers onboard the flight have been shared to social media. Having been tackled to the floor, photos show a Malaysia Airlines flight attendant keeping him pressed to the ground Gun-wielding special operation officers wearing camouflage outfits and bullet-proof vests boarded the MH128 flight as it sat on the tarmac at Melbourne Airport, before detaining the attacker
Passenger Selena Brown told The Age the most frustrating part was seeing police outside the plane and wondering why they were taking so long to board.
‘We were told police would take 10 minutes but it was over an hour. I thought it was really disappointing only because we weren’t updated all the time. We could see them all outside and they weren’t coming on to the plane and we didn’t know why,’ she told the publication.
One man said his girlfriend, a passenger on board the flight, had sent her family and him messages texted him and her family fearing for her life.
‘She sent messages to her mum and sister saying she thought she was going to die,’ Lachie Langord, a boyfriend of a passenger, told 7 News.
‘It was pretty full on – for the better part of four hours my heart has been pounding.’
Laura, another passenger, told the ABC she was sitting only metres from what she thought was an explosive device.
‘I think the worst part was that we were sitting on the aircraft for just under two hours, and we were under the impression that there was still an explosive on the aircraft,’ she said.
‘We were online getting the live feed from news and that was when a lot of people found out it was an explosive, so a lot of people started to freak out once we’d actually touched down.’
Superintendent Martin Goode from the Australian Federal Police defended the delay.
‘The safety of the passengers is paramount so we needed to consider a number of options and Victoria Police were handling that side of things in discussion with us and we needed to make sure that all contingencies were covered,’ he said.
Victoria Police Superintendent Tony Langdon refused to confirm exactly how long fearful passengers were left on board with what they believed was an explosive device.
‘We do have a standard procedure in relation to these matters and at times we will be slightly delayed in what we need to do because of the fact we have concerns. You will appreciate an aircraft is quite a complex piece of equipment so we have to me sure we are doing everything we can,’ he said.
Victoria Police later confirmed that the man, a 25-year-old Australian citizen from Dandenong, had a history of mental health and did not have an explosive device.
He was arrested after questioning from Australian Federal and Victorian Police.
According to witnesses, the man yelled ‘I’m going to blow up this plane’ as he attempted to enter the cockpit Armed police escort the alleged attempted hijacker off the plane No compatible source was found for this video.
People on board the flight witnessed the man attack an air hostess just minutes after take-off at 11.11pm on Wednesday, before he was heard shouting ‘I’m going to blow up this plane’.
Passengers then confronted the man and tackled him down to the ground, allowing the pilot to make a dramatic u-turn back to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport.
Gun-wielding special operation officers wearing camouflage and bullet-proof vests boarded the plane and detained the attacker, with all passengers disembarking the flight shortly before 2am.
Former AFL star Andrew Leoncelli was sitting in business class on the flight and was just metres from the man as he launched his attack.
Mr Leoncelli told The Age the man began attacking an air-hostess, ‘screaming’ at her that he ‘needed to see the captain’.
‘I’ve got a bomb and I’m going to f***ing blow the plane up,’ Leoncelli quoted the man as saying.
‘Literally he was eyeball to eyeball with me saying he was going to blow the plane up… he looked like a lunatic.’
Mr Leoncelli said the man, who was tall and had dark skin, was holding a ‘huge, metallic, unusual’ object the size of a watermelon with two short antennas.
‘We spent an hour and a half sitting on the plane sh***ing our dacks that this thing might blow up,’ he told Triple M radio.
Passengers on board the plane said the man was holding a ‘huge, metallic’ object with antennas coming out of it After making an emergency landing the plane sat on the Melbourne Airport tarmac for more than two hours After making an emergency landing the plane sat on the tarmac with passengers still onboard for more than two hours, with passengers disembarking (pictured) shortly before 2am Superintendent Tony Langdon said the 25-year-old man had a history of mental illness and was not carrying an explosive device.
‘It’s quite heroic for the passengers and crew to restrain this person,’ he said.
The Malaysian Government claimed the suspicious object the man was holding was likely a powerbank used to charge mobile phones.
‘It is believed that the suspect is a Sri Lankan national, and that he was drunk,’ Malaysia’s Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Aziz Ab Kaprawi told The Star.
After making an emergency landing the plane sat on the tarmac with passengers still on board for more than two hours.
All flights out of Tullamarine were grounded, while incoming aircraft have been diverted to nearby Avalon Airport, or as far away as Tasmania.
The plane has been moved to a secure location for further checking before it is brought back to the tarmac.
Passenger Arif Chaudhery said he believed the man was drunk or on drugs when he threatened to blow up the plane A woman named Vanessa, whose boyfriend Andrew was a passenger onboard, said the man threatened to detonate the explosives on the plane. The guy said ‘I’m going to blow up this plane’,’ she said All flights out of Tullamarine (pictured) have reportedly been grounded, while incoming aircraft have been diverted to nearby Avalon Airport, or as far away as Tasmania Police have set up a perimeter around the airport, but insist there is no imminent threat
A woman named Vanessa, whose boyfriend was a passenger onboard, told radio station 3AW the man threatened to detonate the explosives on the plane.
‘He was the one who first confronted him when an air hostess was getting scared of this guy and that’s when the guy said ‘I’m going to blow up this plane’,’ she said.
Vanessa said the man then ran to another part of the plane where he was tackled to the ground by passengers.
Saiqa Chaudhery, whose husband was on the flight, described the horrifying scenes.
‘He heard a lot of screaming and (an) airhostess calling out for help as a passenger attacked her,’ Ms Chaudhery told News.com.au.
‘Some other passengers and crew tied the man down and (the) flight landed back at Melbourne Airport 25 minutes after takeoff.’
All 247 passengers and crew miraculously survived when Airline System Flight 684 crashed 2km short of the runway at Subang Airport Wreckage from the infamous flight MH370, which disappeared over the Indian Ocean with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, has been washing up ever since it vanished in 2014 Flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200ER, was shot down over Ukraine by a missile, killing all 298 people on board No one was killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 2718 overran the runway on landing at Sibu Airport Malaysian Airlines flight MH128 travelling to Kuala Lumpur, took off from Melbourne Airport at 11.11pm on Wednesday, before being forced to turn around only minutes later ‘Malaysia Airlines would like to stress that at no point was the aircraft ‘hijacked’,’ a statement from the airline read
Malaysia Airlines has released a statement confirming the incident.
‘Malaysia Airlines flight MH128 of 31 May from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur was forced to turn back to Melbourne due to a disruptive passenger,’ it read.
‘MH128, which had departed Melbourne Airport at 11.11 pm and was scheduled to arrive Kuala Lumpur at 5.28am on 1 June, made a turn back to Melbourne after the operating Captain was alerted by a cabin crew member of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit.
‘Malaysia Airlines would like to stress that at no point was the aircraft ‘hijacked’. MH128 safely landed in Melbourne airport at 11.41pm.
‘Following the incident on MH128, the disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security. Malaysia Airlines together with the Australian authorities will be investigating the incident.
‘Safety and security are of utmost priority to Malaysia Airlines. The airline wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused. Passengers have safely disembarked the aircraft and will be screened by Australian authorities.
‘Affected passengers will be accommodated at hotels. They will be offered travel on the next available flight or on other carriers.’
Victoria Police Senior Constable Adam West said that Malaysia Airlines had called for assistance at 11.40pm.
‘It is alleged that a man tried to enter the cockpit and threatened the safety of passengers and staff,’
‘The man did not gain entry to the cockpit. The man was subdued and a safety plan was enacted.
‘There appears to be no imminent threat to passengers, staff or public and the investigation is ongoing.’
‘The man did not gain entry to the cockpit. The man was subdued and a safety plan was enacted,’