There was a serious scare on an Ethiopian airline plane conveying over 200 persons to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday, as a young man in his early thirties, identified only as a Malaysian deportee, rushed into the plane’s toilet with a lighter and lit a cigarette.
With the emerging smoke from the toilet, the emergency alarm of the plane came on, sending the entire passengers into a panic.
The man, whose body language indicated that all was not well him, rushed to the toilet after a brief conversation with one of the air hostesses.
According to the air hostess, the suspect requested a cup of coffee but could not wait to be served before rushing to the toilet.
The incident in which many of the passengers termed another form of terrorist attack, caused serious panic in the air as the crew members rushed to the toilet with a fire extinguisher and other gadgets to avert what would have resulted in a plane crash.
When the plane successfully landed at the Abuja international airport, angry passengers invaded the arrival lounge, charging security operatives to ensure the suspect was apprehended and interrogated as his mission was to kill everyone on board the plane.
Security operatives eventually led the suspect away as passengers monitored keenly.
An aviation officer who pleaded anonymity said it was a stupid act to smoke in a plane even when it is written boldly that smoking is highly prohibited.
”This guy must be up to something. Check your tickets too. It says non-smoking,” he said.
A passenger who was on the same plane said that the suspect was on a mission to kill everyone.
He said, ” if not, how on earth can someone explain this? You can even see the no-smoking sign directly above your head. The guy wanted all of us dead, and I think he must not be left off the hook.”
Many of the passengers had warned vehemently that proper investigation must be carried out to determine why the suspect carried out the act.
An effort to further confirm the status of the case proved abortive as security operatives were cooperative in divulging further information on the matter.
But many have blamed the incident on security lapses from Ethiopia, asking how it was possible for the suspect to have carried a lighter in a plane without being noticed at the point of checking in.