Malaysia Airlines flight forced to turn back over bomb scare

Malaysian media has reported the country's Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Aziz Ab Kaprawi told the Australian Federal Police, the "disruptive passenger" was "drunk".

MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur was forced to return to the airport shortly after taking off on Wednesday night after Marks allegedly tried to enter the cockpit.

"It is not a hijack. It was not a bomb but a powerbank", he added.

"Everyone on board is safe..."

Victoria police said the incident happened four kilometres out of Melbourne when a man from Belconnen left his seat, shouting that he had a bomb and tried to move towards the cockpit.

A business-class passenger, former Australian Rules football player Andrew Leoncelli, told Melbourne radio station 3AW that the arrested man had threatened to "blow the plane up".

Victoria Police said the device he was carrying was a "speaker-type" object, not an explosive.

Photographs on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website showed black-clad officers armed with rifles on board the plane.

According to a statement released by the airlines, the flight was forced to return due to a disruptive passenger.

Marks was arrested yesterday after causing a bomb scare on board MAS flight MH128 which was flying from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur.

It is understood the man, believed to be a 25-year-old from Dandenong, attempted to enter the cockpit claiming to have an explosive device.

Malaysian Airlines has suffered a number of high-profile incidents over he past three years, with the disappearance of MH370 in 2014 resulting in the presumed deaths of 239 people on board and prompting an global search for the never-recovered plane.

Malaysia Airlines has suffered two major airline disasters in recent years.

"An investigation led by Australian authorities is now underway and Malaysia Airlines wishes to extend its appreciation to everyone involved during the emergency situation", it said in a statement.

"The objective in any serious incident like this is to get every member of the crew, every passenger off the plane safely, and that is what was able to be achieved".

  • Leroy Wright