By Andrea Romano
July 23, 2019

A man was taken into custody in Lagos City, Nigeria on Friday after climbing onto a plane’s wing as it was about to take off.

According to CNN, the unidentified man approached the Azman Air plane at Murtala Muhammed International Airport and climbed on one of its wings. During the incident visibly frightened passengers asked the flight crew to open the emergency exit, reported CNN.

Passenger Otto Orondaam caught video footage of the man and posted it on Instagram, saying he “ran to the aircraft with a bag” and caused a panic amongst passengers on board. According to Orondaam’s post, the man dropped the bag inside the engine before starting to climb.

The man was apparently spotted by the plane’s pilot as the plane was heading to the runway, CNN reported. The pilot slowed down and turned off the plane’s engine as a safety measure.

Azman Air tweeted a statement detailing the incident, saying that airport security took the man into custody for questioning. All other passengers were taken back to the gate to deplane and the aircraft and luggage were searched before they were allowed to get back on.

In another statement from Henrietta Yakubu, general manager of corporate affairs at the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said that FAAN has suspended the aviation security department heads who were on duty at the time. The suspension is pending the completion of an investigation into the incident.

It’s still unclear why the man decided to climb on the plane in the first place, though the Independent reported that the man was attempting to travel to Ghana. It should be noted, however, that the Azman Air flight was a domestic flight. People have attempted to climb onto planes in the past, including a man in Australia who sprinted across the tarmac and tried to climb onto a plane because he was late for a flight.

Another man at Miami International Airport climbed through a baggage carousel and ran onto the tarmac, though it is not certain what his intentions were.

According to CNN, the flight was not delayed. The Azman Air flight continued to its scheduled destination in Port Harcourt, Nigeria after the search.

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