Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight to Dubai makes emergency landing at Chittagong after a passenger behaves suspiciously and appears to be wanting to hijack the plane, airline officials say.

Bangladeshi security personnel stand guard near the plane after an emergency landing at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong on February 24, 2019.
Bangladeshi security personnel stand guard near the plane after an emergency landing at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong on February 24, 2019. (AFP)

A flight bound for Dubai from Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, made an emergency landing Sunday at the airport in Chittagong, Bangladesh, after a man attempted to hijack the plane, an official said.

There were no casualties amongst passengers from the incident on the state-run Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight, Air Vice Marshal Mofidur Rahman of Bangladesh's air force said at a news conference broadcast live on Somoy TV late Sunday. 

But the suspected hijacker was injured and died shortly after being arrested, army spokesman Major General Motiur Rahman told reporters.

"He is a Bangladeshi. We found a pistol from him and nothing else," General Rahman said.

The suspect, described by officials as a 25-year-old Bangladeshi man, was shot as special forces rushed the plane after it landed safely.

Bangladeshi soldiers could be seen in the live broadcast taking positions inside Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, 252 km southeast of Dhaka.

Officials declined to provide more details about the incident, but said that all 143 passengers and seven crew members aboard the Boeing 737-800 jet had been evacuated and were safe.

Situation under control

The flight took off from Dhaka at 4:35 pm [local time] for the flight to Dubai via Chittagong. 

The pilot made the emergency landing in Chittagong about 40 minutes later, officials said, after a crew member reported "suspicious behaviour" by the man.

Bangladeshi air force spokesman Nur Islam told The Associated Press by phone that "the situation was under control."

Dramatic raid 

Air Vice Marshall Rahman said he kept the accused man busy talking on the phone while special forces units prepared for the dramatic raid.

"He demanded to speak to our Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina)," the official said.

"He claimed he had a pistol, but we are not sure yet whether it is an actual gun or a fake."

The country's civil aviation chief, Nayeem Hasan, earlier said the suspect had claimed to have a bomb aboard the flight.

"From the talks and dialogue we have with him, it seems he is psychologically deranged," Hasan said.

Source: AP