Virgin Australia Passenger Plane Averts Hijack Bid; Aircraft Flying from Brisbane Forced to Land at Bali Airport
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | April 25, 2014 5:44 PM EST
A Virgin Australia passenger plane has averted a hijack bid and was forced to land at Bali, various news sources are reporting.
A Virgin passenger plane has been hijacked and forced to land at Bali, various news sources are reporting. (Representational picture: Wiki Commons/Montague Smith)
The Virgin blue jet was on its way to Bali from Brisbane.
Reuters reported that Bali's police chief told the local media in Indonesia that a Virgin flight from Brisbane has been hijacked.
He was quoted as saying that the plane has now landed in Bali and is sitting on the tarmac at the airport in Denpasar.
"We got information that a 737-800 from Brisbane to Bali has been hijacked," Indonesian air force spokesman Hadi Tjahjanto told Indonesia's MetroTV.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that it was an unruly passenger who entered into the cockpit and forced the flight to be held on the runway at Bali. While the Indonesia Police has been quoted by various reports as saying there has been a hijack scene, the Virgin Australia spokesman has discounted the reports.
The spokesman told the Australian newspaper that it was rather a drunken passenger or a medical emergency.
"We're still trying to get to the bottom of what happened, but the plane has landed safely at Denpasar," the spokesperson told the paper.
Earlier, spokesman for the Indonesian military, Major General Fuad Basya was quoted as saying that they are trying to "have communications with the airplane" but were still unable to do so.
"The airplane is now at the end of the runway," he said.
Malaysia's New Straits Times has quoted a passenger on a Garuda Indonesia flight that was about to take off Bali as saying: "The captain of my plane made an announcement saying we were delayed indefinitely because a hijack was going on in Bali airport, about 150 meters away from us."
"I saw at least five vehicles including military-style trucks, filled with men in uniform, rushing towards the plane," Mohan told the news channel adding: "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," Mohan said.
The Virgin Blue Airlines, also known as Virgin Australia, is the country's second largest airline.
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