Melbourne airport flights suspended due to MH128 incident

An aerial view of Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport.

PETALING JAYA: Flights in and out of Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport are currently suspended and incoming planes are being diverted as a result of the incident onboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH128, which returned to the airport after takeoff.

In an e-mail exchange, the airport's head of communications Grant Smith said they are unable to confirm specific destinations for individual flights.

Several departing flights were also held on the ground at the airport, and incident response is being coordinated through Victoria Police.

In an official statement early Thursday morning, Victoria Police confirmed that a man tried to enter the cockpit and "threatened the safety of passengers and staff".

"Emergency services were called to Tullamarine Airport around 11.40pm last night after a request for assistance from an airline," said Victoria Police media officer Senior Constable Adam West.

West said that the plane landed safely at the airport and the passengers had exited the plane and were speaking to investigators.

"There appears to be no imminent threat to passengers, staff or public and the investigation is ongoing," he said.

According to Smith, all flights are impacted at this time.

"Travellers with scheduled flights for today should check directly with their airlines for the latest information relating to their flight," he added.

As for anyone who was planning on heading to the airport to meet an inbound traveller, Smith advised said parties to "please stay home".

For the time being, flight MH128 passengers were asked to leave all their bags and belongings aboard the plane while they were transferred to the terminal building.

Malaysian passenger Fariza Zanuddin said passengers were given water and cheese while waiting.

MH128 passengers at the airport building after disembarking from the plane. - Photo courtesy of Fariza Zanuddin.



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