Bangladesh plane hijack: Passenger with gun shot dead after Dubai-bound flight forced to make emergency landing

Passengers allowed to leave safely after military surrounded aircraft

Adam Forrest
Sunday 24 February 2019 14:45
Dubai-bound aircraft makes emergency landing in Bangladesh airport following attempted hijack

A Dubai-bound plane was forced to make an emergency landing at an airport in Bangladesh after an armed passenger attempted to hijack the flight.

Police and military surrounded the Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft at Chittagong airport before all 143 passengers and seven crew members were allowed to leave.

The suspect, a Bangladeshi, asked to speak to the country’s prime minister before dying from injuries in an exchange of gunfire with commandos, according to military officials.

The soldiers fired at the suspect after he shot at them when they asked him to surrender, Major General Motiur Rahman told reporters.

“All of them have come out from the aircraft safely,” said the airline’s general manager, Shakil Miraj, of the passengers and crew.

The airline said the Boeing 737 aircraft left Dhaka for Dubai at 4.35pm, and landed at Chittagong airport around 5.40pm local time.

The pilot had decided to make an emergency landing after being told by a member of the cabin crew that the passenger was behaving suspiciously, said Mr Miraj.

Bangladeshi politican Moin Uddin Khan Badal told Bangladeshi media he had been on board the plane and a gunshot had been fired. He also claimed the hijacker had demanded to speak to Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladeshi security forces stand guard at Chittagong airport

Bangladesh’s home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told the hijacker had threatened the pilot with a gun.

“So far we know, an armed man pulled a gun at the pilot’s head. But all the passengers have disembarked. The pilot has also got off.”

An army official later said the suspect, whose name has not been released, asked to speak to his wife and the prime minister. The suspect died of his injuries before reaching the hospital, he said.

The suspect appeared to be “mentally imbalanced,” said M. Naim Hassan, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority. “I am saying this because of his behaviour. He wanted to talk to the prime minister.”

Flights were suspended at the airport when police cordoned off the area around the plane.

Additional reporting by agencies

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