No terror link in MH128 flight fracas: PM


The passenger reportedly claimed to have explosives during the incident. Chaudhery tweeted to reporters the passenger involved was under the influence of "drug or alcohol".

A Victoria police spokesman said: Emergency services were called to Tullamarine Airport around 11:40 pm. last night after a request for assistance from an airline.

Once they'd landed, passengers had to remain on the plane for more than hour before police boarded and took over the situation.

"It was an isolated incident and we do believe he suffers from a mental illness", Superintendent Michael Goode of the Australian Federal Police told a media conference on Thursday.

"It is not a hijack".

Shortly after take-off, passengers onboard flight MH128, traveling from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, tackled a man carrying a unusual object as he moved towards the front of the plane.

The Sri Lankan national was overpowered by crew members and passengers who used belts from their trousers to tie his hands as the airliner returned to Melbourne.

"Passengers have been sent to local hotels in Melbourne and will be departing to Kuala Lumpur throughout June 1", Malaysia Airlines said in a statement today. The "disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security" and other passengers were screened by authorities.

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Both the airline and Australian authorities will investigate, it added.

Victoria police said the incident happened four kilometres out of Melbourne when a man from Belconnen left his seat, shouting that he had a bomb and tried to move towards the cockpit.

Flightradar24, an aircraft monitoring site, said on Twitter that other flights bound for Melbourne were diverted to other airports.

Malaysia's Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the man actually had a powerbank which he claimed was a bomb. The carrier lost another aircraft when MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in 2014.

The statement continues: "Safety and security are of utmost priority to Malaysia airlines".

Malaysia Airlines' technical and cabin crew that operated MH128/31May will not operate on flights until further notice.

"He was saying: 'I'm going to the blow the plane up, I'm going to blow the plane up, '" passenger Andrew Leoncelli told Australian Broadcasting Corp on Thursday. The airline wishes to apologize for the inconvenience caused.