A Nigerian man has been arrested after causing fear among passengers when he climbed to the wing of a plane about to take off at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
The incident occurred Friday on an Azman Air flight in Lagos. The aircraft was reportedly at a holding bay expecting clearance for take-off when the man was seen climbing onto the wing, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Footage taken from inside the plane by a passenger showed the man, who is yet to be identified, trying to climb the rim of the jet engine onto the wing of the plane.
According to NAN, the man illegally gained access to the airside with hand luggage. The footage also showed that the man illegally climbed the aircraft wing and deposited the bag inside one of the engines.
The man’s action caused panic among the passengers, with some immediately demanding the pilot and cabin crew to open the aircraft doors for them to disembark after raising safety concerns.
Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), who confirmed the development, said the unidentified man has been placed in custody at the airport for further questioning.
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Guys this is an emmergency o. For 30 minutes we have been stuck at the runway at MMIA by an unidentified man who ran to the aircraft with a bag. Security has not showed up and everyone is panicking. I have so many questions to ask but right now I can’t even breathe. Pls share this to all relevant authorities. Dear Nigeria!!!!! Update: He has finally been apprehended and we’ve all disembarked from the flight. FAAN authorities showed up 23minutes into the scene but were scared to approach him. Security eventually shows up after 37mins. ______ How it happened!! So our flight was taxing on the runway and about taking off when this man shows up running towards the moving aircraft from the bush. The pilot and a few passengers spotted him running towards the aircraft and the pilot immediately slowed down and quickly put off the engine. The guy approaches the plane with gloves and starts walking around and under the aircraft holding a bag which he dropped inside the engine. Thanks to the Pilot of the Azman Airline for quickly observing and taking swift action.. I still have a million and one questions to ask cos anything could have gone wrong! Nigeria will work perfectly someday. This I know. 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬
Aviation authorities are also investigating how the man got the chance to climb onto the wings of an aircraft.
Meanwhile, a “reliable source” told NAN that the man, upon arrest, claimed he wanted to travel to Ghana but refused to disclose how he managed to gain access to the restricted airside.
The shocking development comes just weeks after reports of a suspected stowaway on board a Kenya Airways plane headed to London fell into a residential garden.
The man, who was reported to have been frozen, fell from 3500ft above when the Dreamliner KQ100 plane began its descent into Heathrow. In its official statement on the incident, the London Metropolitan Police said that the victim appeared to have fallen from the landing gear compartment of the plane while it was approaching the Heathrow Airport.
In 2015, a stowaway on a British Airways plane from Johannesburg fell on a roof during the jet’s approach to Heathrow. A second man who was hiding in the undercarriage of the plane was hospitalized with injuries.