A Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight en route Dubai from Dhaka in Bangladesh made an emergency landing on Sunday at Chittagong after what appeared to be an attempted hijacking, an official from the airline said. All 142 people on board were safely evacuated following which police surrounded the aircraft.
The suspect died of injuries later following a gunfight with the military commandos. Army, Navy and elite police cordoned off the plane soon after it landed. All the passengers, pilots and crew members were evacuated safely. According to army Major General Matiur Rahman, the suspect, a Bangladeshi national identified as Mahadi, refused to surrender when asked to, forcing “the commandos to go for action (firing)”, which “lasted eight minutes”.
“He (hijacker) succumbed to his wounds after the military commandos captured him (with gunshots),” Rahman told a media briefing at Chattogram airport
Biman BG 147 took off from Dhaka at 4:35 pm but made an emergency landing at Shah Amanat International Airport 40 minutes later after a crew member reported “suspicious behaviour” by the man, Rezaul Karim, an official with the Bangladeshi military’s inter-service public affairs office, said.
The emergency exit was opened through which the passengers disembarked immediately. The captain and the first officer of the flight also came out later, eyewitnesses said. “No one was hurt during the rescue operation,” Bangladesh’s Air Vice Marshal Abdul Matin said.
“The man repeatedly wanted to talk to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said, adding that the hijacker allowed the passengers to disembark the plane during the negotiation process. Meanwhile, in a press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal Naim Hassan said the hijacker was equipped with a handgun and explosives.
The airline’s general manager Shakil Miraj told Reuters that the police and Army later surrounded the aircraft. “There were 142 passengers and all of them have come out from the aircraft safely,” he said.
(With agency inputs)
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