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Australian who sparked hijack alert on plane 'mistook cockpit for toilet'

Published on Apr 26, 2014 2:04 PM
A handout released by Indonesian Air Force shows Matt Christophers Lockley (centre, back) of Australia being arrested by Indonesian Air Force soldiers after landing on the Virgin Australia 737-800 plane at Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar on the resort island of Bali on April 25, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AFP) - An Australian passenger who sparked a hijack alert on a flight to Bali has denied being drunk and claimed he banged on the door of the cockpit after mistaking it for the toilet, Indonesian police said on Saturday.

Mr Matt Christopher Lockley also said he was in a state of depression during the Virgin Australia flight on Friday to the resort island, as he was searching for his Indonesian wife with whom he had lost contact.

Security forces rushed to the airport on the Indonesian island when the Boeing 737-800 from Brisbane touched down following a pilot report of a hijacking attempt after a passenger started thumping on the cockpit door. Mr Lockley, wearing flip-flops, white shorts and a T-shirt, was dragged off the plane by heavily armed air force personnel and arrested by police.

The alert prompted a shutdown of the airport and the diversion of several flights.

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