Posted by By Kenneth Ehigiator on
AN Aerocontractor Abuja-bound flight with 78 people on board was yesterday aborted by the pilot following a bomb alarm raised by a passenger in the business class.
LAGOS—AN Aerocontractor Abuja-bound flight with 78 people on board was yesterday aborted by the pilot following a bomb alarm raised by a passenger in the business class. The passenger reportedly raised an alarm that there was a bomb on board the aircraft, a Boeing 737-300, which was already taxiing for take off at 1:15pm. He was immediately handed over to men of the State Security Service (SSS) who have commenced investigation into the matter.
A source told Vanguard that the alarm did not, however, cause stampede or confusion among the passengers, including Works Minister, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, who were evacuated as soon as the aircraft taxied to a stop at the airline’s apron at the domestic wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja.
The plane was thereafter searched by security operatives and nothing was found on board. Besides the passengers, the luggage compartment of the aircraft was also evacuated for re-screening.
Passengers and their luggage were again screened before they were allowed to re-board same aircraft which flew them out to Abuja, but without the passenger who raised the alarm.
Manager, Fixed Wing, Aerocontractors, Capt. Dapo Olumide, said the SSS was already investigating the matter. According to him, a call to the next of kin of the passenger indicated that “he is an unstable person.”
Capt. Olumide said: “After the passengers and their luggage had been screened for the second time, they were allowed to board the aircraft which took them to Abuja. He felt bad that he was left out because he said he was hurrying to Abuja to catch up with an appointment.”
He regretted that this development was coming at a time the aviation sector was struggling to restore the confidence of the public whose patronage waned following the crashes that occurred last year.
He, however, said bomb alarm was a recurring phenomenon in aviation ,especially in the Western world, where some passengers often raise unnecessary alarm to make airlines lose some money.
Olumide said Aero would remain a stickler for safety rules, adding that beyond the screening provided by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the airline also had its own screening machine to ensure its passengers and their luggage are double-checked to prevent dangerous objects from getting on board.
These terms and conditions contain rules about posting comments. By submitting a comment, you are declaring that you agree with these rules:
Failure to comply with these rules may result in being banned from further commenting.
These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time and without notice.