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Biman aircraft ‘hijack’ bid foiled; suspect shot dead

Biman aircraft ‘hijack’ bid foiled; suspect shot dead

A man who allegedly tried to storm the cockpit of a Biman flight was killed in a commando operation at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram on Sunday (Feb 24) evening after all passengers were evacuated safely, local media reported.

The airport was closed after Flight BG-147 made an emergency landing at 5:40 p.m. The pilot had informed the control tower about the situation eight minutes prior to landing. The Boeing 737-800, bound for Dubai via Chattogram, was carrying 143 passengers and seven crew members.  It was immediately surrounded by members of the Army, Navy, SWAT and RAB while four fire engines were on standby.

General Officer Commanding Maj Gen S M Matiur Rahman of 24th Infantry Division during a briefing after the commando operation, which was launched around 7:20 p.m., said the so-called hijacker wanted to talk to the Prime Minister and his wife. The suspect introduced himself as Mahadi, a Bangladeshi citizen in his mid 20s, during the conversation.

It remains unclear how a passenger got on board a plane with a weapon despite at least two tiers of body checking.

“We will investigate how he boarded the plane with a firearm,” said Air Vice-Marshal M Naim Hassan, chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh while briefing reporters at his office in Dhaka.

There was no damage to the aircraft and it was declared safe for takeoff after scrutiny.

The airport was opened at 8:00 p.m.