Bomb threat centering Malaysian airlines flight in Dhaka appeared ‘unfounded’
DHAKA, – Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) announced overnight that a bomb threat centring a Malaysian Airlines plane eventually appeared “unfounded” after a thorough search of passengers, their luggage and the craft at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) here.
“The information we received over a phone call from Malaysia appeared unfounded . . . nothing was found,” HSIA’s executive director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told a news briefing after midnight hours following a massive security search.
He said the search campaign was carried out calling out army commandos, air force bomb disposal units, elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and different intelligence agencies and fire fighters in line with “our SOP” or standard operating procedure.
Ahsan declined to identify the caller source but said RAB received the call while the subsequent exchanges with the Malaysian authorities and intelligence reports suggested the aircraft involved no such threat.
But, he said, the intensive scanning of the aircraft cabin, passengers’ body and their luggage were carried out to comply with the SOP as it was a security concern for all.
According to the airport official the scheduled flight carried 135 passengers with 134 being Bangladeshis and one Malaysian.
The plane made an emergency landing at HSIA at 9.38 pm, ahead of which the commandos and security agencies took position at the scene where fire fighters and mbulances were kept standing in alert position.
The airport officials earlier said passengers were later disembarked after thorough security searches while the craft was moved off towards a safe distance from the terminal area for scanning the passenger luggage and the cabin.