Passengers told of fearing for their lives, but Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said a Sri Lankan national, who appeared to have been drunk, was overpowered by the plane’s crew and later arrested.
“It is not a hijack. One disruptive passenger tried to enter the plane’s cockpit,” he told AFP.
“The passenger… claimed to have a bomb. But it was not a bomb but a power bank,” Aziz said. “Everyone on board is safe… He was taken out of the plane handcuffed by Australian security officers.”
Kuala Lumpur-bound Flight MH128 left Melbourne at 11:11pm (1311 GMT) on Wednesday but turned back shortly afterwards when a man allegedly threatened those on board, Australian police said.
“It is alleged that a man tried to enter the cockpit and threatened the safety of passengers and staff,” Victoria state police said in a statement, but added that he “did not gain entry to the cockpit” and was subdued.
Superintendent Andy Langdon said the suspect appeared to have a history of mental illness.