UK & World News

  • 25 April 2014, 16:50

Virgin Hijack Scare: Drunk Passenger Arrested

A drunken passenger sparked a hijack scare after trying to break into the cockpit of a Virgin passenger plane.

The plane is currently at Bali's international airport and a 28-year-old Australian has been arrested, an Indonesian air force spokesman said.

All 139 passengersare unharmed and have been evacuated from the aircraft, he added.

It is understood the Virgin Australia aircraft was scheduled to fly from Brisbane to Bali.

The Australian passenger began pounding on the cockpit door before being handcuffed by the crew, Heru Sudjatmiko, airport manager for Virgin Australia, said.

Authorities named the passenger as Matt Christopher Lockley

Palani Mohan, a passenger on a flight that was about to take off from Bali, said: "The captain of my plane made an announcement saying we were delayed indefinitely.

"He said it was because a hijack was going on in Bali airport, about 150 metres away from us.

"I saw at least five vehicles including military-style trucks, filled with men in uniform, rushing towards the plane.

"Then the Virgin plane taxied away, followed by the convoy of security forces. The flight attendant said it's been taken off to a different part of the airport.

"Bali airport seems to be in lockdown, we've been told no planes will be departing or arriving. The pilot's not allowing anyone off our plane."

Indonesian air force spokesman Hadi Tjahjanto told Metro TV television station: "We got information that a 737-800 from Brisbane to Bali has been hijacked".

According to an Indonesian transport official the captain raised the alarm after a passenger tried to enter the cockpit.

However, a Virgin Australia spokeswoman later denied the plane had been hijacked.

She said: "There are incorrect reports that a Virgin Australia aircraft was hijacked en route to Denpasar. This is not correct.

"The aircraft in question has landed safely and at no point was the safety of our passengers ever in question."

Virgin Australia Airlines, formerly Virgin Blue Airlines, is Australia's second-largest airline as well as the largest by fleet size to use the Virgin brand.

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