Biman Bangladesh flight makes emergency landing following hijack

Biman Bangladesh Airlines
People are seen around a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane following a hijack in Chittagong, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A suspect was apprehended from a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight after he surrendered to security officials after a reported attempt to hijack the plane.

Air Force officials confirmed at a press briefing at the airport around 8pm that he had been detained.

Earlier the plane made an emergency landing at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong.

According to witnesses and airport officials, Flight BG-147, which was on its way to Dubai from Dhaka via Chittagong, landed at the airport around 5:40pm on Sunday.

An airport official said that a gunman tried to take command of the cockpit after the plane took off from Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and forced the pilot to land at the Chittagong airport.

Shakil Meraj, the general manager (Public Relations) of the national flag carrier, confirmed the incident, and added that all passengers had safely disembarked after the plane landed.

But according to media reports, the gunman and two crew members were still on it.

Police, Rapid Action Battalion and Armed Police Battalion cordoned off the area and had the plane surrounded on the runway.

Operational activities at the airport were also suspended, while traffic on adjacent roads was either halted or diverted.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mohibul Haque said that all passengers were evacuated from the aircraft, and a crew member was talking to the suspected hijacker.

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.

Meanwhile, Chittagong 8 MP and leader of a Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction Moin Uddin Khan Badal, who was also on the flight, said 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.

The prime minister was in Chittagong earlier in the day to inaugurate a development project.

A witness also said that they heard a gunshot when the pilots tried to stop the armed hijacker from entering the cockpit. The hijacker then claimed he was wearing a suicide vest and demanded a direct line of communication with the prime minister and senior government officials.

Mohibul said they were yet to confirm whether anyone was shot on the plane.

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