Author Topic: Mid-air 'bomb' scare fizzes out  (Read 397 times)

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Offline thaiga

Mid-air 'bomb' scare fizzes out
« on: May 24, 2012, 01:57:13 PM »
Mid-air 'bomb' scare fizzes out after scare over Millicent in South Australia's South-East

This Air Mauritius plane was forced to make an emergency return to Melbourne.
THE emergency landing of a Mauritius-bound flight was sparked by a misreading of foreign lettering on a can of drink.
An Air Mauritius A340 jet was forced to make an emergency landing at Melbourne Airport yesterday afternoon after a suspicious object was found on a drink tray about 30 minutes into the Perth-bound flight, as the plane was flying over the South-East, north of Millicent.

But police revealed this morning the cause of the mid-flight terror was a dud after someone mistook the can for something more sinister after misreading its foreign print.

“It has been determined that no offence has been detected due to an initial misinterpretation of foreign lettering on the print of the can,” Victoria Police spokeswoman Kendra Jackson said in response to inquiries from The Advertiser.

It is believed the foreign soft drink can's branding was spelled similarly to the word "bomb", sparking the scare.

No one has been arrested.

Air Mauritius Australia Manager Steven Palombo said the scare was expensive.

“The cost of having the aircraft on the ground for 24 hours is significant . We have to accommodate crew, we have to accommodate passengers from overseas. It’s a significant cost from the company’s perspective,” Mr Palombo said.

But he refused to disclose the amount the company spent on the operation saying passenger safety was the airline’s priority.

Passengers will board the A340 again at 11.30am after the aircraft was cleared by police investigators last night.

“It’s a huge inconvenience to passengers, many are going on to London, Paris and Africa,” Mr Palombo said.

Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said a security review would not be considered until the results of the investigation were released.

The Victoria Police Arson Squad, assisted by the Federal Police, was alerted to the nature of the suspicious package after scouring the Air Mauritius A340 at Tullamarine Airport last night.

The flight - which departed Tullamarine at 1.24pm - made the u-turn after a flight attendant found the can.

It was wrapped with paper which appeared to be inscribed with the word “bomb” and secured with masking tape.

Each of the 181 passengers on board the A380 flights were quizzed by police at about 8pm, before Air Mauritius ferried the travellers to their overnight accommodation.

Passengers on the affected flight were expected to resume their journey this morning. 

Police will also interview the plane’s 11 cabin crew as well as other airline staff involved with the flight as part of the investigation.

Police Superintendent Peter O'Neill said the airline acted appropriately.

"It certainly wasn't a coke can. It was a soft-drink can, but I'm not sure what brand," Supt O'Neill said.

'''That's what they (airline staff) found and it was of obvious concern to them and so they took that action and made the decision to return.

"How they came about it, their assessment of it, made them return.

"If they thought for one second the passengers were at risk, they've done the right thing."
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.