Man Climbs on Plane, Attempting to Enter Cabin as It Prepares for Takeoff in Nigeria

July 22, 2019

A man has been arrested after he climbed on the outside of a plane in an attempt to enter the cabin as it prepared for takeoff at an airport in Nigeria.

Azman Air Services said in a statement as a flight at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos was preparing for takeoff Friday morning, the pilot noticed a man walking on the tarmac toward the aircraft. The man climbed on board the outside of the plane in an attempt to access the cabin.

The incident occurred at around 10:09 a.m. local time as the plane was waiting for clearance from air traffic controllers to fly to Port Harcourt, Yakubu Henrietta, general manager of corporate affairs at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria said in a statement.

Video shared by a passenger on the plane shows the man climbing onto one of the wings.

“So our flight was taxing on the runway and about taking off when this man shows up running towards the moving aircraft from the bush. The pilot and a few passengers spotted him running towards the aircraft and the pilot immediately slowed down and quickly put off the engine. The guy approaches the plane with gloves and starts walking around and under the aircraft holding a bag which he dropped inside the engine,” @otto_orondaam wrote in a caption with the video.

A second video shows him climbing out from by the plane’s engine where he allegedly dropped a bag.

Orondaam wrote that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria authorities did not immediately approach the man because they “were scared," but security showed up after 37 minutes.

The pilot initially noticed the man as he was walking toward the plane, and airport security arrested him, the airline said.

After the man was arrested, the plane went back to the gate where passengers exited the plane. The airplane and luggage were thoroughly inspected and the plane was certified to fly again before the passengers were allowed to re-board. The plane later took off and the flight resumed as scheduled.

“Safety is our Priority at Azman Air and we will not deter from raising the standards when it comes to the same,” the airline said in a statement.

The FAAN is investigating the incident, the agency said in a statement.

Following the arrest of the man, the authority announced in a second statement Friday that the Aviation Security unit heads that were on duty when the incident occurred have been indefinitely suspended. The agency has appointed a new head of security, Dr. Anne Enyinnaya-Egbadon.

“FAAN views this breach as a serious security concern and has commenced investigation to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of this incident to forestall future occurrence,” Henrietta wrote in a statement.


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