Man who tried to hijack MH128 was just released from psychiatric facility

Man who tried to hijack MH128 was just released from psychiatric facility
PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA: The mentally unstable man who allegedly threatened to bomb Malaysia Airlines Flight MH128 had only just been released from a psychiatric facility, News Corp Australia Network reported.

According to Australian police, the suspect, who was a "voluntary patient", was released on Wednesday.

The news agency quoted Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton, who said that the Sri Lankan national purchased his flight ticket after being released.

Flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur returned to the Australian airport shortly after take off late Wednesday after the passenger, who was holding an unknown device, attempted to enter the cockpit, authorities said.

The plane landed safely and the man was apprehended by airport security, said Malaysia Airlines.

Police said the incident was not terrorism-related and the 25-year old man had been taken into custody.

He is expected to be brought to court on Thursday.

According to a passenger, about 30 minutes into the flight a male passenger attacked a female member of the cabin crew who screamed out for help.

Passengers and crew tackled the man and tied him up with seat belts until the flight landed, a witness told Reuters.

Armed security personnel entered the plane to remove the man and escort other passengers off the aircraft, he said.

The airline stressed the flight had not at any point been hijacked.

It had departed at 11.11pm local time, and returned at 11.41pm.

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