Man on Malaysia Airlines plane arrested after threatening crew, forcing flight to return to Sydney
A Malaysia Airlines flight departing Sydney for Kuala Lumpur on Monday was forced to return to Sydney about two hours into the flight after a passenger allegedly threatened fellow travellers and crew on the flight.
Flight data showed Flight MH122 departed Sydney at 1.40pm local time (3.40pm, Singapore time) but returned at 3.47pm.
Shortly after 6.30pm (Sydney time), nearly three hours after the plane landed, images shared on social media showed police boarding the plane and apprehending the disruptive passenger.
Passengers can be seen in shared videos later disembarking the Airbus A330, reporting on social media that they were instructed by police to leave their belongings on the aircraft while they awaited to be interviewed in an airport lounge.
Earlier, more than one passenger aboard the flight reported on social media that the flight had been cancelled, sharing images of a man appearing to be disruptive on the flight.
In one video, he can be seen refusing to sit when asked by a flight attendant, continuing to lodge verbal protests.
In another, the man can be seen shouting while exchanging words with another passenger.
One passenger, Ms Sammi Marks, said on X, formerly Twitter, that the man tried to take on a passenger who stood up to him.
According to Ms Marks, the man seated near her had “unzipped his backpack, put his hands in, made barely veiled threats about having something dangerous in it, screaming at the top of his lungs”. She described it as the “scariest situation” in her life.
Mr Muhammad Zubair, another passenger, said on X that the captain had announced that the flight was cancelled after it had landed.
He added that the passengers were moved to the back of the plane to separate them from the disruptive traveller while they awaited airport security’s assistance to send buses for the passengers.
Another passenger, Mr Jawad Nazir, said they had been waiting for “over an hour” on the plane after it landed for airport security officials to arrive.
In one video shared by another passenger, the man can be seen seated in one of the plane’s aisles accompanied by some flight attendants, as travellers observe him from a distance.
Sydney Airport reported that the travel hub is operational with flights arriving and departing, adding that 32 domestic flights were cancelled while no other international flights were affected.
“We are currently supporting emergency agencies in the management of an incident at the airport,” tweeted a spokesman.
A spokesman for the Australian Federal Police said that they are responding to an emergency incident at Sydney International Airport.
Passengers on other flights scheduled to land at Sydney airport on Monday reported delays “due to a security issue on a plane on the main runway”.
TO BE UPDATED