A man was taken into custody after he allegedly left a “threatening note” in the lavatory of a Virgin Airlines airplane that was flying from Sydney to Albury, with initial reports suggesting that the message scrawled on the note referenced a bomb that had been stashed somewhere on the plane.
“A man is currently assisting police with their enquiries following an incident with a plane at Albury,” a police spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. “At about 9:20 am, police and emergency services attended Albury Airport after receiving information that a note was left in the toilet area in the plane.”
Police declined to comment on the content of the note, but word quickly spread that it had something to do with a bomb. Virgin Australia confirmed that an incident had taken place but also refused to provide the full story.
“Due to a security incident on board, police met the aircraft on arrival,” Virgin said in a statement. “One passenger is assisting police with their enquiries. All guests disembarked safely and a full search of the aircraft was conducted by the local police and the aircraft has been cleared of any potential danger. The matter is now in the hands of the New South Wales police.”
Passengers aboard the flight in question described a chaotic scene, with one claiming that a flight attendant said, “Leave your luggage, get out and run, run, run!” But Virgin Australia disputed that account and claimed that the passenger who left the note “was just someone being very silly” who “caused a lot of angst and frightened a lot of people.”
The culprit, described as a 30-year-old man, now faces charges of sending a document threatening death or grievous bodily harm and giving false information. He has been released from custody and will sit for his first court appearance on July 4th.