Date
17 October 2017
A security scare forced the evacuation of a Cathay Pacific plane and checks on all passengers and their luggage. Photos: Bloomberg, Apple Daily
A security scare forced the evacuation of a Cathay Pacific plane and checks on all passengers and their luggage. Photos: Bloomberg, Apple Daily

Suspicious passenger behavior prompts Cathay plane evacuation

Suspicious behavior of a passenger prompted a security scare aboard a Cathay Pacific Airways plane at the Hong Kong airport on Wednesday, leading to temporary evacuation of the aircraft.

Cabin crew of flight CX713, which was supposed to take off at 9.10 am and head to Bangkok, became alarmed as they saw a man put several items of hand luggage in different overhead lockers.

The man, who was a South Asian, was told by the in-flight crew to put all his belongings in one place, in the locker above his seat, but he didn’t heed the request, according to Apple Daily.

When asked why he was stuffing his luggage in various places, the man mumbled something and failed to give a satisfactory reply.

At this point, the cabin crew became suspicious and reported the matter to the flight captain. 

Given the heightened safety concerns in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and the recent bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt, the captain ordered the evacuation of the aircraft and a new round of security checks on all the passengers.

The emptied plane, meanwhile, was made to undergo thorough inspection. 

It was only later when all the checks were completed and nothing suspicious was found, including in the luggage of the South Asian man, that the aircraft finally took off at about 11.30 am. 

A Cathay Pacific spokesperson apologized for the two-and-a-half-hour delay, but stressed that safety of passengers and the crew is the carrier’s foremost priority.

In-flight thefts on the rise, HK$4.45 mln stolen this year (Nov. 19, 2015)

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Passengers (left) gather at the door of the aircraft as a flight attendant (right) checks a piece of suspicious luggage. Photos: Ricky Tjandra


Passengers are asked to leave the plane for safety reasons. Photo: Ricky Tjandra


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