Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Drunk passenger tried to break into cockpit

25 April 2014, 14:35

Denpasar - A drunk passenger sparked a hijack alert on a Virgin Australia flight heading for the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Friday when he attempted to break into the cockpit, officials said.

Security forces rushed to the airport when the Boeing 737-800 touched down on the popular resort island, after the pilot reported the Brisbane to Bali flight had been hijacked, Indonesian authorities said.

However, Virgin Australia said the drunken passenger had sparked a false alarm when he slammed on the cockpit door. Indonesian police named him as Matt Christopher and said he had been arrested.

"This is no hijacking, this is a miscommunication," said Heru Sudjatmiko, a Virgin Australia official in Bali. "What happened was there was a drunk person... too much alcohol consumption caused him to act aggressively."

"Based on the report I received, the passenger tried to enter the cockpit, through the cockpit door, by banging on the door but he did not enter the cockpit at all."

He said the individual was stopped by crew, handcuffed and placed in a seat at the back of the plane. After landing he was taken off the aircraft and put under arrest.

Shut down

Transport ministry official Herry Bakti said the alert was triggered when the pilot sent a signal to Bali airport that the plane had been hijacked, and then followed up with a verbal confirmation.

"We then guided the flight to land as they were flying close to the airport," he said.

No passengers were hurt during the incident, officials said.

Palani Mohan, a passenger on a Garuda flight that was preparing to take off from Bali, said that when the drama began the pilot of his plane announced the airport was in lockdown.

"The captain of my plane made an announcement saying we were delayed indefinitely because a hijack was going on in Bali airport, about 150m away from us."

"I saw at least five vehicles including military-style trucks, filled with men in uniform, rushing towards the plane," he said.

"Then the Virgin plane taxied away, followed by the convoy of security forces."

The airport was shut down for about an hour but flights resumed after the Virgin plane was taken off the tarmac.

Bakti said nine aircraft that had been approaching Bali were diverted to other Indonesian airports during the shutdown.

Bali, a pocket of Hinduism in Muslim-majority Indonesia, is an enormously popular tourist destination, attracting millions of foreign visitors every year to its palm-fringed beaches.

The airport has been the scene of drama before. In April last year a Lion Air plane missed the runway as it came into land, smashing into the sea and splitting in two.

Dozens of the 108 people on board were injured, but there were no fatalities.

Bali has also been the scene of attacks by Muslim extremists in the past. Bombings on the resort island in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly Western tourists.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...