A passenger tried to enter the cockpit of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight after waving a gun and threatening to blow up the plane on Sunday on a Dubai bound flight.
The flight originated in Dhaka and made an emergency landing following the actions of the passenger who was later shot and killed by a Bangladeshi anti terror commando after most hostages had been released.
The weapons and other equipment were smuggled through the security checkpoint at Dhaka Airport (a real dump) and there are currently investigations underway to find out how that was possible – or so they say.
Reuters reported about the incident last night (access here).
… The passenger, who had said he had a personal issue with his wife and told the pilot he wanted to speak to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, died later from the injuries suffered after the commandos stormed the plane at Chittagong’s Shah Amanat International Airport, officials said.
“We tried to arrest him or get him to surrender but he refused and then we shot him,” said Major General S M Motiur Rahman of the Bangladesh Army.
The man’s threat to blow up the plane, which was on its way to Dubai from Dhaka via Chittagong, led its pilots to make an emergency landing.
Before the commandos moved in, all 142 passengers and most of the crew had been let off the aircraft unharmed. One crew member had been held hostage, the officials said.
Air Vice Marshal Nayeem Hasan, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, told reporters at a news conference that as well as holding what appeared to be a pistol the passenger said he had explosives bound to his body.
With the plane close to Chittagong after leaving Dhaka, the passenger stood up from his seat and tried to go to the cockpit, according to aviation officials. When a member of the crew blocked his way, he showed his pistol.
He then said he had explosives and if they didn’t open the door of the cockpit he would blow up the plane, officials said. Other members of the crew alerted the pilots to the problem and they asked air traffic control for an emergency landing.
It was not immediately clear if he had explosives, though the pistol was real, according to a senior aviation official. It also wasn’t immediately clear if the pistol was loaded or how it got through security at the airport in Dhaka.
Despite the horrendous facilities at Dhaka, security is usually tight there as it is at other airports of the region.
Biman Bangladesh as an airline had a total of 11 registered accidents in it’s history since founded in 1972 with only two of those involving fatalities, the latest in 1984.
Apparently the Bangladeshis don’t play around in these cases. At least all passengers and crew except one were released by the man before the anti terror unit moved in to take him down. The man seemed to have been mentally disturbed driving him to take this action that ended in losing his life.
That checkpoints miss contraband even including loaded guns isn’t something unheard of. The TSA at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport recently missed a firearm and ammunition in a ladies carry on which she discovered herself later during the flight (we wrote about that incident here).