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Malaysia Airlines plane turns back after cockpit entry bid


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Malaysia Airlines plane turns back after cockpit entry bid

  • 43 minutes ago
  • From the section AustraliaImage copyright AFP

A Malaysia Airlines plane has been forced to turn back to Melbourne airport after a passenger tried to enter the cockpit.

Flight MH128, bound for Kuala Lumpur, was forced to return "due to a disruptive passenger", a statement from the airline said.

The airline said that the flight landed safely and the passenger was apprehended.

The passenger reportedly claimed to have explosives.

But Malaysia's Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz bin Kaprawi said "it was not a bomb but a powerbank", according to the AFP agency.

The passenger appeared to be drunk, he said - but was overpowered by the plane's crew.

Victoria Police said: "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."

A blurry photo shows passengers seated on the plane, while a heavily armed man in full tactical gear and what appears to be a rifle walks towards the front of the planeImage copyright David Henderson Image caption A photo posted to Instagram by passenger David Henderson: "MH128 boarded by armed police. No one hurt"

Passengers have safely left the plane and will be screened by Australian authorities, Malaysia Airlines said.

Both the airline and Australian authorities will investigate, it added.

The statement from Malaysia Airlines said the Airbus A330 was in the air for just 30 minutes of its eight-hour flight time before landing.

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 reported that a number of flights had been diverted while the incident was being dealt with, but that the airport is now operating as normal.

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