April 25, 2014 5:15 am

Drunk passenger causes hijack scare in Bali

An airline official says a drunk passenger on a Virgin Australia flight who caused a hijack scare has been arrested for creating a disturbance after the plane landed on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.

Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A drunken passenger who caused a hijack scare on a Virgin Australia flight by trying to break into the cockpit was arrested Friday after the plane landed on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, officials said.

The airport was closed for nearly two hours because of the incident, forcing several flights to be diverted, director general for air transport Herry Bakti Gumay told Metro TV.

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The Australian passenger acted aggressively and began pounding on the cockpit door before being handcuffed by the crew, Heru Sudjatmiko, airport manager for Virgin Australia, told the station. The passenger was arrested for creating a disturbance, he said.

“There was no hijacking at all,” he said. “It was only a miscommunication.”

A hijack alert had been issued by the pilot about one hour before the plane landed, Indonesia air force spokesman Hadi Tjahjanto said.

The Boeing 737 was carrying 139 passengers and six crew members from Brisbane, Australia, to Bali, which is a leading tourist destination for Australians.

“The aircraft landed safely and at no point was the safety of passengers in question,” an airline spokeswoman said in Australia.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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