25 February, 2019

Biman airlines flight BG147 ends in the death of hijacker

Photo AFP
The 25-year-old man that took a Biman Airlines crew member hostage during an attempted hijacking has been shot dead by members of the security forces.

The Boeing 737 aircraft was operating a flight from Dhaka in Bangladesh to Dubai when the passenger, who was believed to be armed with a gun and carrying explosives, tried to storm the cockpit.

In a special operation that lasted nearly 10 minutes, Bangladeshi special forces stormed the aircraft and shot the suspected hijacker, who has been identified by the low police as Mohammad Palash Ahmed, an aspiring actor.

During the attempted hijacking Mohammad Palash Ahmed had repeatedly asked to speak to the Bangladeshi Prime minister Sheikh Hasina. He also revealed he had recently been having relationship difficulties with his wife.  "The reason he gave for the hijack was that he had troubles with his wife and he wanted to talk to the prime minister," said Sarwar-e-Zaman, the airport manager. 

According to an army official, Mohammad Palash Ahmed was initially wounded in the shooting and later died of his injuries. "We tried to arrest him or get him to surrender but he refused and then we shot him," he said before confirming "He is a Bangladeshi. We found a pistol from him and nothing else."

Some of the other passengers have told local media that they believed they were going to die and that they saw he had a weapon, although officials have now confirmed that the weapon the hijacker held was actually a toy.

All 148 passengers and crew on board flight BG147 we able to disembark the jet safely after the landing, in the city of Chittagong. The aircraft has sustained damage to its wings and control surfaces that occurred during the military operation and passenger evacuation. 

An investigation has been launched and security at all airports in Bangladesh has been stepped up in the wake of the incident. 

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