Virgin says jet not hijacked; passenger was drunk

JAKARTA (REUTERS/AFP) - A Virgin official has dismissed that a plane flying from Brisbane into Bali has been hijacked.

The official claimed that the passenger who had tried to break into the cockpit was drunk.

Earlier, Indonesian airforce spokesman Hadi Tjahjanto told MetroTV television station that the Virgin Australia plane that landed at Bali airport on Friday was suspected to have been hijacked.

"We got information that a 737-800 from Brisbane to Bali has been hijacked," he said, adding it was a Virgin flight.

"The pilot indicated that the plane has been hijacked," senior transport ministry official Harry Bhakti said on MetroTV. "There's an information that a passenger tried to get into a cockpit, we are investigating."

Palani Mohan, a passenger on a Garuda flight that was about to take off from Bali, said: "The captain of my plane made an announcement saying we were delayed indefinitely because a hijack was going on in Bali airport, about 150 metres away from us.

"I saw at least five vehicles including military-style trucks, filled with men in uniform, rushing towards the plane.

"Then the Virgin plane taxied away, followed by the convoy of security forces. The flight attendant said it's been taken off to a different part of the airport.

"Bali airport seems to be in lockdown, we've been told no planes will be departing or arriving. The pilot's not allowing anyone off our plane."

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