UPDATED: Passengers panic as man climbs Nigerian aircraft

Azman airline flight
Azman airline flight

Passengers on an Azman airline flight were thrown into confusion Friday as a yet to be identified man jumped on the aircraft on the runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

Our reporter learnt that the incident occurred while the aircraft was taxi-ing in preparation for take-off. Details of the incident remain sketchy but a passenger confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Friday afternoon.

The passenger, who declined to have his name in print, said the man emerged from a nearby bush and ran towards the aircraft.

Upon seeing him, he said, the pilot turned off the engine and distress calls were made to the airport authorities. An amateur video posted online showed that the man eventually climbed the top of the plane and sent passengers into a panic.

This newspaper learnt that airport authorities have since brought the situation under control.

Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN spokesperson, confirmed the incident and told this newspaper that details would be made available in a press statement.

A statement later released by FAAN said the incident occurred Friday morning adding that the aircraft was heading to Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

“At about 1009 hours, aviation security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria arrested an intruder who was sighted trying to climb into an Azman aircraft waiting for clearance from Air Traffic Controllers,” the statement said.

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“The pilot of the Azman aircraft with registration number 5N-HAI departing Lagos to Port Harcourt reported the incident and Avsec officials swiftly responded. The man has been apprehended and is now in Avsec’s custody.”

FAAN said the aircraft taxied back for a thorough check and departed for Port Harcourt afterwards.

It added that the agency is investigating the incident.

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