A Bali airport runway was closed for an hour last night and a Saudi Arabian man was hauled off a flight shortly before take off after he was heard saying “this flight will explode after take off”.
The bomb squad and aviation security were called in to examine the plane and luggage. The man told authorities the remark was a joke.
Eleven flights were delayed as a result of the hoax bomb threat, including seven international and four domestic flights. The man was on a Lion Air flight JT 015 to Jakarta when he made the comments as the plane taxied to take off about 6.20pm (Local time).
The Saudi man, Aljohani Dakheel Allahawdahm, when questioned said he was only joking. But flight crew reported his comments to the plane’s captain, who reported to the airport control tower and the plane was ordered back to the apron.
The man and his four friends were then escorted off the plane and taken to Ngurah Rai military air base for questioning. Their luggage was off-loaded and searched and the men were interrogated for several hours.
The matter was taken so seriously that the Bali police chief himself questioned the men who were then escorted to a hotel under guard. A decision will be made for them to fly to Jakarta today.
The airport’s runway was closed for an hour as the matter was investigated.
“There was a passenger that was joking and said that the aircraft will explode. Another passenger that heard it then immediately reported to a flight attendant and the Captain decided to return to the apron. As is procedure, the aircraft and passengers were examined, supported by the bomb squad and aviation security,” Ngurah Rai airport’s communications and legal chief, Arie Ansanurrohin said.
Source: thewest.com.au / Cindy Wockner and Komang Erviani