After making an emergency landing at Chittagong’s Shah Amanat International Airport, Bangladeshi commandoes stormed the plane and shot a passenger Sunday who tried to hijack a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight, claiming he had a gun, airline and aviation authority officials said.It turns out the man, believed to be in his 20s, was carrying a toy gun and had no explosives, police said Monday in a reversal of allegations.“We tried to arrest him or get him to surrender but he refused and then we shot him,” said Major General S M Motiur Rahman of the Bangladesh Army.“The pistol with the suspect was a toy pistol and he had no bomb attached to his body,” said Kusum Dewan, additional commissioner of Chittagong police.The passenger, who had said he had a personal issue with his wife and told the pilot he wanted to speak to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, later died from his injuries, officials said.With the plane close to Chittagong after leaving Dhaka, the passenger stood up from his seat and tried to go to the cockpit, according to aviation officials. When a member of the crew blocked his way, he showed his pistol.
Bangladeshi security personnel stand guard at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong on Feb. 24, 2019.
He then said he had explosives and if they didn’t open the door of the cockpit he would blow up the plane, officials said. Other members of the crew alerted the pilots to the problem and they asked air traffic control for an emergency landing.Before the commandoes moved in, all 142 passengers and most of the crew had been let off the aircraft unharmed. One crew member had been held hostage, the officials said.It was not immediately clear if he had explosives, though a senior aviation official initially said the pistol was real.Air Vice Marshal Nayeem Hasan, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, said it was a mystery how the man had managed to board the plane.“It was the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority to search each passenger before boarding and it was done for this aircraft also, but it is a big question to us that how he boarded with a pistol,” he told Reuters.The man was probably Bangladeshi as he was speaking Bangla, but his identity was not yet clear.