Mentally-ill passenger threatens to detonate a Malaysia-bound flight

Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the man had appeared drunk and referred to him as "a disruptive passenger".

"It is not a hijack".

Flight MH128, which left Melbourne for Kuala Lumpur at 11.11 pm, was turned back "after the operating captain was alerted by a cabin crew of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit", according to a statement from the airline.

A screaming man tried to storm the cockpit of a Malaysia Airlines jet shortly after takeoff Wednesday night in Australia, but passengers tackled him before he could reach the pilots, authorities and witnesses told NBC News.

A man charged over a bomb scare on a Malaysia Airlines flight has failed to appear in an Australian court because he feels unsafe, his lawyer has said.

"Everyone on board is safe..."

Passengers said heavily-armed police personnel wearing camouflage gear and helmets entered the plane about 90 minutes after it landed and arrested the man. Passengers were not allowed to leave the plane before that.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH128 has been re-designated to operate as MH128D and will depart from Melbourne's Tullamarine airport at 8pm local time (6pm Malaysian time) today.

The Australian Federal Police said they were investigating the incident.

"So we have to make sure that we're doing everything humanly possible to not further endanger passengers, crew and (the) person apprehended". It had departed at 11:11 p.m. Melbourne time and returned at 11:41 p.m.

Speaking to reporters at the airport in Melbourne, Andrew Leoncelli described how he, a hostess and other passengers eventually subdued the man, who seemed "mentally unwell".

Passengers took action to subdue Mr Marks and held him down while waiting for police to board the plane.

Airport security took the passenger into custody once the plane landed.

Malaysia Airlines said the plane's passengers would be put up at hotels and offered another flight. "Safety and security are of Malaysia Airlines' utmost priority".

The man, who was screaming as he ran, was restrained by other passengers, Henderson said.

  • Leroy Wright