Bangladesh’s state-run Biman Airlines flight is seen after it made an emergency landing at the airport in Chittagong. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: An airplane hijack drama unfolded Sunday early evening at Chittagong airport in Bangladesh ended by late evening with a military operation that injured the suspected hijacker, according to a senior Bangladeshi official.

The gunman was arrested in the commando operation inside a Biman Airlines flight BG147with around 150 passengers, which made an emergency landing at Chittagong airport but he succumbed to his injuries later, the official who did not want to be named told Gulf News from Dhaka on Sunday evening.

He said Bangladesh Army confirmed the gunman’s death in a press statement issued by Inter Service Public Relation Directorate, the news agency of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.

A senior army official also briefed the media, who said the army personnel conducted the operation did not have the chance to negotiate with the gunman as he took an attacking position.

“There was no other way out. Our commandos had to act swiftly. He was initially injured and later died,” Major General Motiur Rahman, general commanding officer of Chattogram, said in the briefing. He confirmed that no one else was injured in the operation.

He said the attacker has been identified as 25-year-old looking Mahadi. He was speaking Bangla and looked like a Bangladeshi.

He was carrying a pistol and he wanted to talk to the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after the Dubai-bound flight via Dhaka was on its way to Chittagong.

- Major General Motiur Rahman

The senior official had earlier told Gulf News that the pilot had convinced him that his demand would be met and alerted the security authorities on the ground before making the emergency landing at around 5.20pm local time.

The security forces successfully moved around 150 passengers and crewmembers, including the pilot, to the airport terminal. The gunman was still inside the flight, who was initially willing to negotiate with senior army officers but did not surrender, which led to the commando operation after around two hours.

The gunman was a depressed individual having marital problems.

Update: Hijack drama ends; the suspect was arrested by security forces by around 7.45pm local time.

He was injured while being pulled out of the aircraft​​​; he has since succumbed to his injuries.

Update at 7.18pm:

A gunman who tried to hijack a Biman Airlines flight flying from Dhaka to Dubai via Chittagong and two crew members are still inside the flight that made an emergency landing at Chittagong airport after security forces successfully evacuated the passengers, according to an official.

“The efforts to overpower the gunman and control the situation are continuing. Commandos have surrounded the flight. The initial reports suggest that all passengers are safe as of now,” a senior Bangladeshi official told Gulf News from Dhaka.

The gunman on the flight BG-147 took out something like a pistol and tried to enter the cockpit, demanding that he wanted to talk to the Bangladesh Prime Minister after the flight was midway between Dhaka and Chittagong, said the official who did not want to be named.

Bangladeshi security personnel stand guard at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong, after an emergency landing of the hijacked Dubai-bound Bangladesh Biman plane. Image Credit: AFP

As per the available information, the pilot convinced him that his demand will be met and alerted the security authorities on the ground before making the emergency landing at around 5.20pm local time, he said. The security forces successfully moved almost all passengers to the airport terminal, however two crew members and the gunman are still inside the flight, the official said.

He said a report suggested that the problematic person could be a depressed individual having some personal problems. “The available information as of now suggests that it is not an organised hijacking attempt but a misadventure of a disgruntled individual,” he said. “Even officials suspect whether he has an original gun or it is a toy,” he added.

As the officials are focussed on ending the trouble, an official statement on the developments is not immediately possible. Most of the available information was gathered from the rescued passengers and an official conformation on the sequence of events can be given after ending the crisis, the official explained. ​​​​​​


All passengers on board a Dubai-bound Bangladesh Biman plane are safe after a man apparently attempted to hijack the aircraft on Sunday, the national civil aviation chief said.

"All 150 plus passengers are safe," Air Vice Marshall Nayeem Hasan told AFP of flight BG147 which had taken off from the capital Dhaka, adding that the man's intentions were unclear.

"We think he is a suspected madman. He is saying that he has a bomb, but we are not sure," Hasan said after the plane landed at Chittagong airport in southeastern Bangladesh, where the passengers were evacuated. (AFP)


Earlier report

Bangladeshi security personnel have successfully evacuated most of the passengers from a Biman Airlines flight that landed at Chittagong airport Sunday afternoon, following a reported hijack threat.

“A passenger reported to the authorities that he noticed something like a gun with a fellow-passenger on-board the flight that was flying from Dhaka. As soon as the flight landed at Chittagong, the officials evacuated the passengers from the flight,” a senior Bangladeshi official, who did not want to be named, told Gulf News from Dhaka.

“The efforts to control the situation and overpower the problematic person are continuing. The initial reports suggest that all passengers are safe as of now,” said the official.

He said a report suggested that the problematic person could be a depressed individual having some personal problems. “The available information as of now suggests that it is not an organised hijacking attempt but a misadventure of a disgruntled individual,” he said.

The flight BG-147 was scheduled to fly from Chittagong to Dubai, the official said.

The evacuated passengers were safely taken to the terminal and commandos have surrounded the flight to overpower the problematic person, he said.