JAKARTA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Garuda Indonesia passenger was removed from a Timika to Denpasar flight on Monday (July 10) after a flight attendant overheard him joking with another passenger that his heavy bag contained a bomb.
The man, identified only by his initials WH, was removed from the plane before the aircraft took off at Timika Airport in Papua at around 2.30 pm, local time.
The incident happened when a passenger named Parlindungan Tambunan asked WH what he was carrying in his bag because it looked heavy. Spontaneously, WH jokingly replied that he was carrying "a bomb". Mr Parlindungan was not shocked by the response because he knew WH was joking.
WH's response was overheard by a flight attendant, who immediately called ground staff. Minutes later the ground staff escorted WH off the plane and picked up his bag for investigation. It was reported that Mr Parlindungan was also taken along with WH.
"WH apologised but officers insisted on taking him and his bag into the airport police office for a bag check," Papua Police spokesman Senior Commissioner AM Kamal said, as quoted by Antara on Monday.
The police did not find any explosive material inside WH's bag. They then brought WH and Mr Parlindungan to a police station outside the airport for further investigation, causing them to miss their flight.
"We hope flight passengers refrain from saying things that can disrupt flights," Mr AM Kamal said.