Posted by Sade Williams
Passengers on Wednesday commended the crew of Air Peace Flight P4 7121 for prioritising their safety and returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after receiving information that there was an explosive on board the aircraft.
A statement issued by the Corporate Communications Manager of the carrier, Mr. Chris Iwarah confirmed the incident, saying the operating crew acted professionally and took the decision to return as a precaution.
He attributed the false information to an intending passenger who was denied boarding after the crew suspected that he might be mentally challenged.
“We confirm that Air Peace Flight P4 7121, Abuja-Lagos on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 returned to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after the crew received information that there was a dangerous item on board.
“In line with procedures and our high safety standards, the captain-in-command acted professionally, briefed passengers on board and took the decision to return as a precaution. The aircraft landed in Abuja without any incident and passengers disembarked normally to enable security personnel conduct a check.
“Passengers on board the flight were screened a second time and the aircraft thoroughly checked. At the end of the exercise, the information was found to be a hoax as nothing was found on the aircraft. The aircraft was subsequently cleared to depart for Lagos and safely landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at about 11.44 a.m.
“The passenger who gave the information has since been taken into custody by security operatives for exhaustive investigation into the incident.
“We commend our valued customers on board the flight for their calm and cooperation while the checks lasted. The safety, security and wellbeing of our customers and crew will continue to be our priority at all times,” Air Peace said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), confirmed that threat of a bomb on an early morning Air Peace flight from Abuja to Lagos was false.
A statement signed by Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN’ spokesperson said the passenger that raised the alarm is said to have a history of mental illness and is currently with the security agencies and medical experts for assessment.
She explained that following the false information, officers of FAAN’s aviation security swiftly evacuated passengers, crew and cargo on board the flight and a bomb squad immediately conducted a thorough check on the aircraft and baggage, which confirmed the information to be false.
“Aftermath of the due diligence test carried out on the aircraft, a fresh boarding call has been made and passengers have boarded the flight for take-off to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria will like to re-assure passengers and all airport users that our airports are safe and secure. They should carry on their lawful activities without any fear. FAAN is committed to her core values of Safety, Security and Comfort.