A passenger on board a Lagos bound Aero aircraft suspected to be of a strange character caused a bomb scare at the Port Harcourt International Airport on Friday, after he attempted to disembark from the plane which was at the point of taking off. The passenger’s action rose the suspicion of others on board who thought he had planted a bomb in the plane, a reason he had to struggle to disembark before the plane could take off.
Trouble started when the suspect insisted he must disembark, damning all pleas by hostesses, a development which prompted the captain’s immediate intervention. The captain, Mrs Ebele Okay, according to officials of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), resolved to call for arrest of the odd passenger who was described as haggard looking to douse tension in the plane. The captain, in addition, asked every passenger on board to disembark for a second round of screening as part of measures aimed at restoring the confidence of all passengers already booked for the 3.00 pm flight to Lagos.
The incident resulted in the Lagos bound passengers numbering 150 wasting several hours. The Aero airline was initially booked for departure at 12.00pm, before the flight hour was shifted by the management on weather condition. But while the suspected passenger was arrested for interrogation and screening by security officials, the other passengers stood their ground not to board the plane again. Sensing that the passengers’ action may disrupt the airline’s opreations for the day, a combined team of FAAN officials, police airport security, the anti-bomb unit and the Aero Airline management moved to address the passengers with assurances that proper screening had been conducted on every department of the plane and baggages of every passenger.
Mrs Ebele, who addressed the aggrieved passengers, said what had happened was a normal occurrence at the airport, contending that the resolve by the captain of the Aero plane to call for a more thorough screening of passengers was in order and in the interest of all.
Posted by Ngo Okafor
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