Virgin Australia plane in hijack alert after drunk passenger Matt Lockley storms cockpit
Man tried to force his way into the cockpit mid flight, prompting the pilots to report a hijack attempt
A drunk passenger who caused a hijack scare by attempting to force his way into the cockpit of a Virgin Australia flight has been arrested after the plane landed safely in Bali.
The Australian man, Matt Lockley, began acting aggressively and pounding on the cockpit door mid flight en route from Brisbane, Australia to the holiday island.
The commotion prompted the pilots to transmit the “7500” code, indicating a hijack was in progress, before the crew were able to handcuff the culprit.
Flight VA41 landed safely as scheduled, but the hijack scare led to the airport being closed for nearly two hours, forcing several flights to be diverted, Indonesian air force base commander Col. Sugiharto Prapto said.
Upon landing, the man was taken into custody by air force troops, scores of which quickly surrounded the jet. He is being held for creating a disturbance and investigators said they were waiting for him to sober up before questioning.
Col. Prapto said the plane was directed to park at the end of the runway in case explosives or weapons were involved. “We immediately took appropriate security measures involving troops because the initial information that we got was that the plane was hijacked,” he said.
Early statements from the Indonesian air force indicated officials believed a hijack had indeed taken place.
Bali police chief Maj. Gen. Benny Mokalu told reporters that after the man began beating on the locked cockpit door, the pilot issued the alert code to air traffic control. The crew then managed to restrain the man and put him in a rear seat for the remaining hour of the flight.
The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 137 passengers and seven crew members from Brisbane, Australia, to Bali, which is a leading tourist destination for Australians.
No passengers or crew were hurt in the incident, according to the airline.
The Australian authorities are on high alert due to potential security risks in Indonesia. Bomb attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005 killed more than 200 people, many of them Australian holidaymakers.
The government’s current travel advice warns: “Terrorists have previously attacked or planned to attack places where Westerners gather, including nightclubs, bars, restaurants, international hotels, airports and places of worship in Bali, Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia. These types of venues could be targeted again.”
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
£35k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...
£50k - 60k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...
£50k - 70k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...
£50k - 55k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An exciting opportunity ...