Another Passenger Arrested Results in 32 Canceled Flights

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

A passenger traveling on Malaysia Airlines was arrested in Australia after a midair incident onboard the flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumper.

The plane and its 199 passengers were forced to turn around three hours into its eight-hour journey after fears for everyone’s safety heightened.

Described as an “emergency incident” by the police, they arrested the 45-year-old male passenger without incident three hours after landing at Sydney Airport.

The rest of the passengers were released as the man was arrested, with Malaysia Airlines thanking everyone for remaining calm and cooperative, claiming they would transfer them to the next available flights.

Initially, the police, nor the airline, announced the details of the incident, but Australia’s Nine News reported a passenger was holding a backpack aboard the flight and threatened to “blow the plane up.” The news outlet stated the cabin crew checked the bag and found no explosives.

The man has now been charged with making a false statement about a threat to damage an aircraft and failing to follow the cabin crew’s safety instructions.

The charges could result in a 10-year prison sentence and a fine of more than $7,000.

Refusing to leave his police cell to appear before a Sydney court via video link, the passenger’s defense lawyer told the magistrate that the man has “serious mental issues” and was “not in the right state of mind.”

Velutha Parambath, a passenger onboard, said the man had drawn attention to himself before takeoff, praying loudly. “At that point, we just thought he was praying for everyone. People just generally had a laugh.”

But soon, the passenger grew louder, standing up and pushing others onboard, Parambath claimed.

“I don’t think he specifically said ‘bomb.’ But he was carrying his bag and he said, ‘I’ve got power in my arms,’” said Parambath, who was traveling with his wife and three children.

Sydney Airport later claimed 32 domestic flights were canceled due to the passenger’s actions, and others were delayed up to 90 minutes.


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