Bangladeshi security personnel stand guard near a Dubai-bound Bangladesh Biman plane on the tarmac of the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong on February 24, 2019, after a man attempted to hijack the aircraft.
A man who attempted to hijack a passenger plane carrying 156 passengers and crew using a toy gun has been shot dead by Bangladeshi commandos.Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight BG 147 had been traveling to Dubai from Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, with a scheduled stopover in the city of Chittagong, Sunday evening.During the initial 25-minute flight, when the plane was at an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,572 meters), the unnamed suspect took at least two members of the crew hostage using a toy gun and demanded to speak with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“He tried to create a panic among the cabin crew and claimed that he wanted to enter the cockpit. It was a general attempt for a hijacker to enter the cockpit to take control,” Tanbir Ahmed, spokesperson for Bangladeshi Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism told CNN.Security forces stormed the Boeing 737 after it landed at the Shah Amanat International Airport in the southeastern city of Chittagong at the scheduled time of around 6:30 p.m. local time.Onboard, the suspect, who has been identified as a Bangladeshi male between the ages of 24 to 27 years old, refused to surrender and was shot. Ahmed said the suspect sustained fatal injuries and died on way to the hospital.
The operation to stop the hijacker and rescue the crew members who were taken hostage took eight minutes, authorities said.All 143 passengers were evacuated before commandos took out the hijacker and no injuries were reported. “The situation is under control,” Ahmed said.
In addition to the 143 passengers, there were 11 crew members, a pilot and copilot.Ahmed said the name on the suspect’s flight ticket was Mazikul Islam, but police believe he has several identities and are trying to confirm his real name.He boarded the flight at Dhaka on a domestic ticket to Chittagong. Police said the fact that he was carrying a toy gun meant he could pass through security unnoticed.Police say the incident may have been an “emotional matter” and do not suspect terrorism at this time.
An investigation is ongoing.