Bomb threat on Malaysia Airlines jet turns out to be false alarm

The authorities have combed through a Malaysia Airlines jet after it landed at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport amid reports of an alleged bomb threat on board.

Published : 1 Dec 2021, 05:24 PM
Updated : 1 Dec 2021, 09:09 PM

But the search did not turn up anything suspicious, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh announced at a media briefing in the early hours of Thursday.

The Dhaka-bound flight from Kuala Lumpur touched down at Shahjalal airport around 9:48pm on Wednesday.

The plane was subsequently marshalled to the taxiway where the Air Force's bomb squad conducted a thorough search of the aircraft after evacuating its passengers.

"The information turned out to be unsubstantiated but we did not take it lightly," Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan, director of the airport, told reporters.

"We carried out a detailed search after the plane landed. First, we offloaded the passengers and searched them in line with the Standard of Procedure. But we did not find any dangerous or bomb-like material."

Earlier in the evening, the Rapid Action Battalion had alerted the airport authorities about the arrival of a "suspicious" person from Malaysia with a "suspicious object", according to him.

Touhid-ul said the RAB received the tip-off in a phone call from a Malaysian number without revealing any further detail on the matter.

Security at the airport was immediately beefed up to deal with the alleged threat, he added.

"We held a meeting and notified the Air Force. Their specialised counter-terrorism team arrived within a very short time."

Asked if there was any Pakistani passenger on the flight, he said, "We'd heard about that but there was no Pakistani passenger on board."

The flight was carrying 135 passengers, 134 of whom were Bangladeshis, while the other was a Malaysian national.

He also denied reports that the plane was forced to make an emergency landing.

Earlier, Additional Deputy Commissioner Tapash Kumar Das of DMP's Airport Zone had said they had been alerted to the presence of a "suspicious person" or "object" on board the Malaysia Airlines plane. "Airport security personnel are looking into the matter."

Several units of the Fire Service were also dispatched to the airport, according to Director-General Brig Gen Md Sazzad Hussain.

"The plane has reportedly landed safely. The Fire Service units are at the [airport] gate. The civil aviation authorities will call them in if necessary," he had said.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher