May 31 (UPI) — A Malaysia Airlines jet made an emergency landing Wednesday at the airport in Melbourne, Australia, after a passenger attempted to enter the cockpit.
The airline said MH128 left the airport at 11:11 p.m. and was bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but landed 36 minutes later because of the attempted breach.
“The operating captain was alerted by a cabin crew of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit,” the airline said in a statement.
In air traffic control audio, a male voice can be heard saying the passenger was “claiming to have an explosive device, tried to enter the cockpit, has been overpowered by passengers.”
Then the person said, “However we’d like to land and have the device checked.”
The Airbus A330 then landed safely at Terminal 2. The “disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security” and other passengers were screened by authorities. They were given accommodations at hotels and offered next available flights by the airline or other carriers.
Photographs taken by other passengers showed heavily armed security personnel boarding the plane after its return to Melbourne.
Malaysia Airlines said “at no point was the aircraft ‘hijacked.’ “
Flights to Melbourne airport were being diverted, according to the 24-hour aviation monitoring website Flight Radar.