Passengers evacuate Virgin Australia plane after threatening note found in toilet
On Tuesday, a passenger onboard a Virgin Australia flight was arrested after allegedly leaving a threatening note inside the plane’s bathroom.
According to the Independent, the note was written on an airplane sick bag and claimed that the passenger had stashed a bomb on the Virgin Australia ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop plane flying from Sydney to the New South Wales city of Albury.
“Police and emergency services went to the airport after receiving information that a note was located in the toilet area of the aircraft," officials said in a statement. "The aircraft landed safely and a man was arrested."
Crew members were able to evacuate all passengers aboard the 68-person plane in less than five minutes, according to reports. Passengers on the plane told local news that upon learning about the threat the cabin crew calmly told them to leave all their belongings and evacuate the aircraft immediately.
“The minute we came to a halt, they started yelling, 'Evacuate, evacuate,'” passenger Wendy Willett told ABC. She then jumped from an emergency window into a policeman's arms on the runway, she said.
However, while the crew worked incredibly fast to ensure the safety of all passengers, the entire incident was later deemed a hoax by local police.
"It wasn't a bomb threat at all. It was not terror-related. It was just something we were concerned about and we wanted to make sure it was OK,” a police spokesperson confirmed to reporters. The passenger has since been charged with making death threats.