Seven engineers of Biman Bangladesh airlines have been arrested in connection with a technical glitch that forced a plane of the national carrier carrying Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to make an emergency landing. The engineers were arrested last night by a unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police amid speculation of sabotage. “Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested last night the accused from different areas of the capital city,” a police spokesman told reporters.
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Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Mohammad Yusuf Ali said the all the suspects belonged to engineering wing and they included Biman’s two chief engineers and a principal engineer. “A police investigation is underway and they are now being quizzed by the CTTC. We are trying to ascertain if it (glitch) was part of a plot,” CTTC chief Monirul Islam said.
The VVIP flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Ashgabat International Airport in Turkmenistan last month by changing its route due to technical glitches in its engine. Earlier, the airline had suspended nine of its officials, including seven arrestees, on charges of negligence in duty that forced the emergency landing of the premier’s craft.
The development has come four days after civil aviation minister Rashed Khan Menon had said three separate committees launched to investigate into the glitch came out with a common finding, attributing the mishap to ‘human factor’. “The common finding of the probes is that glitch was caused by the human factor, but they (committees) are not sure whether it was sabotage,” Menon said on Sunday.
“Now we have to determine that if it was sabotage or unprofessional jobs (professional lapses) by exposing the people concerned to legal procedure,” he added. Menon said all the three committees came out with an identical finding that the “aircraft’s oil pressure decreased as its ‘B nut’ got loosened,” exposing the plane and its passengers to a dangerous situation. “But, we are lucky that Prime Minister and daughter of the Father of the Nation Sheikh Hasina was unhurt,” he said.