Bali’s Denpasar airport was thrown into chaos last night, as a man onboard a flight due to depart promised passengers the plane would “explode after take-off”.
Eleven flights – seven international and four domestic – were delayed as a result of the bomb threat, which appears to have been a hoax, but nonetheless, the bomb squad was called in to investigate.
The man was on a Lion Air flight bound for Jakarta when he made the comments as the plane taxied to take off around 6:20pm (local time).
The Saudi Arabian man told authorities his comment was a joke, but scared passengers aboard the flight reported the man to a flight attendant, at which point emergency plans were initiated.
The culprit, Aljohani Dakheel Allahawdahm, was dragged off the flight along with four friends for questioning at the Ngurah Rai military air base. Bali’s police chief also questioned the men himself, while their luggage was taken off the flight and inspected.
Per news.com.au, a decision will be made today as to whether they will be allowed to fly to Jakarta.
The airport’s runway was in lock down for an hour as the matter was investigated.
Per news, the military airport’s communications and legal chief, Arie Ansanurrohin, said, “There was a passenger that was joking and said that the aircraft will explode.
“Another passenger that heard it then immediately reported to a flight attendant and the Captain decided to return to the apron. As is procedure, the aircraft and passengers were examined, supported by the bomb squad and aviation security.”