A flight from Cape Town was forced to land at Wonderboom Aerodrome, north of Pretoria, after a passenger became so unruly he had to be restrained, reports Pretoria North Rekord.
Social media is abuzz with claims that the incident was in fact a hijacking, but this was strongly denied by the Tshwane metro, which owns and operates the airport.
According to Tshwane metro spokesperson Blessing Manale, claims that the situation at Wonderboom Airport was a hijacking, was untrue.
“It is purely a matter of a restraint of a passenger,” Manale said.
It is understood that the passenger had to be restrained by cabin attendants before the plane landed.
He said in terms of civil aviation regulations, all passengers had to be kept on board after the plane had landed until the passenger had been removed by the police.
He said airport authorities were awaiting the removal of the passenger.
South African Airlink confirmed that a technical glitch mistakenly sent out hijack distress signal this morning while travelling from Cape Town to Pretoria.
The Chief Executive Officer of SA Airlink, Rodger Foster, told EWN all on board four crew and 72 passengers landed safely.
Foster said the false alert was picked up by air traffic control and the police’s special task force was activated.
We confirm that hijack alert for SA8678 on 11 July 2016 from CT to Wonderboom appears to be an anomaly. 72 passengers & 4 crew members safe.
— Airlink (@Fly_Airlink) July 11, 2016
— Walter Nöthling (@WALTERnothling) July 11, 2016
– Caxton News Service