Drunk passenger causes hijack scare

Drunk passenger causes hijack scare

Credit: Sonny Tumbelaka, AFP/Getty Images

Armed Indonesian Air Force soldiers secure the Virgin Australia 737-800 plane at the tarmac of Denpasar airport in the resort island of Bali on April 25.

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by KIM HJELMGAARD

USA Today

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 7:34 AM

A Virgin Australia passenger plane was involved in a suspected hijack Friday after a drunk passenger attempted to break into the cockpit.

The incident caused the pilot of the plane, which was traveling from Brisbane to Bali and carrying 139 passengers and six crew, to make a "hijack call."

Virgin Australia subsequently said that the reports of the hijack were incorrect and that the aircraft in question landed safely.

"There was no hijacking at all," Heru Sudjatmiko, airport manager for Virgin Australia, told Indonesia's Metro TV. "It was only a miscommunication."

A hijack alert had been issued by the pilot about one hour before the plane landed, Indonesia Air Force spokesman Hadi Tjahjanto said.

The passenger responsible, said to be an Australian national, was arrested and no passengers were harmed.

Bali's Depasar International Airport was temporarily closed and flights were diverted to other airports.

Earlier, Indonesia's Metro TV, citing an Indonesia's Air Force, said the passenger plane had been hijacked and forced to land at Depasar. The Associated Press had said the hijack took place while the plane was still on the tarmac.

Virgin Australia, formerly Virgin Blue Airlines, is Australia's second-largest airline.

 

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