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Malaysia Airlines plane turns back after cockpit entry bid

Malaysia Airlines plane turns back after cockpit entry bid

Malaysia Airlines planes are seen at departure gates at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on March 8, 2015. Malaysia Airlines plane turns back after cockpit entry bid

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Flight MH128 was bound for Kuala Lumpur, but was airborne for just minutes

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.

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.

Image copyright
FlightRadar24

Image caption

The FlightRadar tracking site showed the plane looping around after take-off

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