Africa: Mentally Challenged Passenger arrested over false bomb scare on Air Peace aircraft
A suspected mentally challenged passenger is cooling off at the police station in Abuja following a false bomb scare raised by the passenger aboard an Air Peace aircraft.
The Air Peace aircraft Flight P4 7121 was enroute Lagos when the incident happened.
It was gathered that the passenger that raised the alarm is said to have a history of mental illness and is currently with the security agencies and medical experts for assessment.
Passengers on onboard the aircraft commended the crew of Air Peace for prioritising their safety and returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after receiving information that there was an explosive on board the aircraft.
A statement issued by the Corporate Communications Manager of the carrier, Mr. Chris Iwarah who confirmed the incident, said the operating crew acted professionally and took the decision to return as a precaution.
He attributed the false information to an intending passenger who was denied boarding after the crew suspected that he might be mentally challenged.
“We confirm that Air Peace Flight P4 7121, Abuja-Lagos on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 returned to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after the crew received information that there was a dangerous item on board.
“In line with procedures and our high safety standards, the captain-in-command acted professionally, briefed passengers on board and took the decision to return as a precaution. The aircraft landed in Abuja without any incident and passengers disembarked normally to enable security personnel conduct a check.
“Passengers on board the flight were screened a second time and the aircraft thoroughly checked. At the end of the exercise, the information was found to be a hoax as nothing was found on the aircraft. The aircraft was subsequently cleared to depart for Lagos and safely landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at about 11.44 a.m.
“The passenger who gave the information has since been taken into custody by security operatives for exhaustive investigation into the incident.
“We commend our valued customers on board the flight for their calm and cooperation while the checks lasted. The safety, security and wellbeing of our customers and crew will continue to be our priority at all times,” Air Peace said.