Saturday August 4, 2012
Man suddenly jumps out just before Airbus plane takes off
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: A routine take-off at the local airport was stopped abruptly yesterday when a man suddenly jumped off.
An Airbus flight, which was filled with some 200 passengers and was about to take off for Kuala Lumpur at about 8.30pm, came to a sudden halt when its emergency door was wide open and the emergency evacuation raft came dangling out of the plane.
The Star received an urgent call at around 8.40pm from the Environment Department chief, Siva Nathiran, who was on the flight.
“The flight to Kuala Lumpur was supposed to take off at 7.40pm, but was delayed for more than an hour. When the plane was already accelerating on the runway and was about to take off, a young man suddenly opened the emergency door and jumped out.
“The raft automatically opened when the door was opened. The passengers inside the aircraft started screaming. The flight attendants immediately alerted the pilots and the plane was stopped in its track.
“After that, I saw teams from the airport security as well as those from the Fire and Rescue Department rushing to the scene,” Siva told The Star.
A check with the Miri Airport management confirmed that the airport had stopped all flights effective from 9pm yesterday until further notice. Siva claimed that nobody was hurt.
“However, things turned chaotic as the passengers started screaming for help,” he added.
Miri assistant police chief ACP Mun Kock Keong when contacted said his men were on the case.
“We’re still trying to obtain details of what really happened at the airport,” he said.
A call to Miri Hospital revealed that the “jumper” was a Chinese man, aged 24. His condition was reported to be stable.
Meanwhile, AirAsia Bhd’s regional head of flight operations Capt Datuk Fareh Ishraf Mazputra commented that such an incident should not have happened in any flight.
“The aircraft was halted immediately and there was no injury. The passenger who ran and opened the cabin door has been arrested,” he said.