A plane is being evacuated, with 42 passengers fearing for their life. “It’s a terror attack,” they fear. Chaos. Cabin crew members are yelling to passengers, “get out and run, run, run!”
Fearing that this might be a terror attack, doors of the plane get ripped off and passengers start jumping 1.2 meters from the plane onto the tarmac, right into the hands of police officers.
Who is the person they’re looking for? A male passenger in the red. He gets arrested and police officers rush to the plane to find a note with death threats in the toilet.
While this sounds like a plot to an action movie with Liam Neeson coming to rescue the passengers and investigate the death threat note, it’s actually real life.
The whole thing took place on a Virgin plane, which the flight crew had to evacuate because of the alarming note found on the flight from Sydney to Albury, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Virgin plane – VA1174 – was swiftly evacuated with 42 passengers having to jump more than a meter from the plane onto the tarmac at Albury Airport on Tuesday morning.
The plane had to be evacuated after the note threatening death or grievous bodily harm was found in the plane’s toilet. Passengers had to evacuate through emergency exits as the plane approached Albury.
The man, who was said to be the author of the alarming note, was arrested despite other passengers saying he was calm throughout the flight and went to the toilet only once – when he allegedly left behind the document.
Emergency services were called to evacuate the plane, with police officers arresting the man as soon as the passengers started jumping from the plane onto the tarmac.
While passengers feared the incident could be terror-related, no bomb was found onboard the Virgin plane. Speaking to AAP, a police spokeswoman described the evacuation incident as “just someone being very silly.”
She added that the death threatening note was “something we were concerned about and we wanted to make sure it was OK,” which is why the flight crew had to evacuate the Virgin plane.
The man, who allegedly left behind the note written on a sick bag in the plane’s toilet, was charged with sending a document threatening death or grievous bodily harm and giving false information to person or property in danger. Another passenger, who went to the restroom after the man, reportedly discovered the note.
The arrested man was released on bail and is expected to appear in court in July. When police officers questioned the passengers that were seated next to the arrested man, they said the man was calm throughout the flight, he read a novel and went to the restroom only once.
Local police congratulated the Virgin flight crew for evacuating the passengers swiftly and safely. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Albury commander Superintendent Evan Quarmby said they had passengers “secure and safe” within just five minutes after the Virgin plane landed.
The behavior of the flight crew is being called into question, however. According to passengers’ accounts, the Virgin cabin crew told the passengers to leave their luggage behind and jump about 1.2 meters onto the tarmac.
A passenger told AAP that he heard the flight crew shouting, “get out and run, run, run,” but a Virgin spokesperson denied the crew saying that, and suggested that it could have been one of the passengers on the plane who shouted that.
The doors of the plane were said to be “ripped off” by police, but the Virgin spokesperson dismissed the claim, saying that the doors were opened by the flight crew from the inside.
[Featured Image by iChzigo/Shutterstock]