Singapore: Jetstar flight forced to return to Changi Airport after passenger heard 'bomb'

jetstar flight reverts to changi airport
Budget airline Jetstar aircrafts sit on the tarmac at Singapore's Changi Airport February 6, 2014 Edgar Su/Reuters

An altercation involving three passengers forced an Australia-bound Jetstar flight from Singapore to revert to Changi Airport Terminal 1.

Jetstar flight 3K161 from Singapore bound for Darwin, Australia departed at 11:05 p.m. on Friday, December 22 was about to take off when an in-flight commotion broke out. The incident started between two male passengers when one of them grabbed the other's phone as he was talking while the plane was taxiing towards the runway.

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According to other passengers, the guest was still on his phone even if the cabin lights were already dimmed, a safety measure used in air vehicles. In the event of a crash or emergency evacuation, dimming of cabin lights during night-time flights allows passengers' eyes to adjust to the darkness inside the plane, enough to see the floor lights leading people to safety along the aisle.

The phone owner reportedly shouted for security when his phone was suddenly taken away from him. This prompted a female passenger seated behind the two passengers to call the attention of the flight attendants using the alarm button.

The official statement of Jetstar Airways issued Saturday morning, revealed that there were verbal threats, forcing the pilot to return to the boarding gate. The third passenger involved claimed that she heard the word "bomb", which alerted her to immediately press the alarm button.

changi airport
Passengers walk in Singapore's Changi Airport Terminal 3 on August 17, 2016 Edgar Su/File Photo/Reuters

Involved passengers were turned over to the local police authorities after the incident for further investigation. All passengers were given meal vouchers while travelers with young children were granted lounge access.

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The two male passengers, who are believed to be non-Singaporean, were rescheduled for separate flights, while the rest were rescheduled for a 7:15 a.m. flight on Saturday.

"We take safety and security seriously and we don't tolerate threats or disruptive behaviour by passengers on our flights," says Jetstar's official statement.

This article was first published on December 23, 2017