Chittagong: A Dubai bound Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane made an emergency landing at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, on Sunday, following a reported hijacking attempt.
The hijacking attempt was foiled and the armed hijacker surrendered to security officials and all passengers were evacuated from the plane, according to Dhaka Tribune.
Air Force officials confirmed at a press briefing at the airport around 8 pm that the hijacker had been detained and was being interrogated.
Dhaka Tribune quoted an airport official, seeking anonymity who stated that a ‘gunman’ reportedly attempted to take the command of the cockpit which led to the emergency landing of the passenger plane, which was on its way to Dubai from Dhaka via Chittagong.
Following the landing, police, Rapid Action Battalion and Armed Police Battalion sealed off the area and plane was surrounded on the runway.
Operational activities at the airport were also suspended, while traffic on adjacent roads was either halted or diverted.
Citing United National Bangladesh, Dhaka Tribune also quoted Bangladesh Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mohibul Haque as saying that all passengers were evacuated from the plane and a crew member was talking to the suspected hijacker.
Speaking with bdnews24.com, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that the hijacker had the pilot at gunpoint when the plane landed.
“However, all passengers and the pilot made it out safely. We know this so far. But it is confirmed that the suspect is still in the plane. We are trying to find out why and how this happened,” said the minister.
Citing Somoy TV, Dhaka Tribune quoted Chittagong 8 MP and leader of a Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction Moin Uddin Khan Badal, who was also on the flight. Badal revealed that the hijacker had opened fire.
“The pilot told that this man, a Bangladeshi, fired a shot. However, everyone is safe. When the pilot pursued him, the hijacker said that he wanted to talk to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Now the law enforcement agencies are trying to take him into custody,” Badal said.
A witness also stated that a gunshot was heard when the pilots were trying to stop the armed hijacker from entering the cockpit. The hijacker had also claimed he was wearing a suicide vest and demanded a direct line of communication with the prime minister and senior government officials.
Bangladesh Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mohibul Haque stated that it is not confirmed whether anyone was shot on the plane.