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Hoax Note Sparks Emergency Evacuation on Virgin Australia Flight

Aircraft lavatory toilets aboard a jetliner airplane.

The note, written on a sick bag and placed in the craft’s toilet, caused panic onboard a plane as it landed at Albury Airport (ABX) in New South Wales.

A note found in the toilet of a Virgin Australia plane caused the emergency evacuation of a recent flight from Sydney to Albury Airport (ABX), the Australian Associated Press reports. The incident occurred on Tuesday, just as the plane had landed at ABX in the state of New South Wales.

It appears that almost all of the passengers on Virgin Australia Flight VA1174, which landed at 9:30 a.m. local time, were entirely unaware of any potential security risk. However, it has emerged that the note, which was written on a sick bag in the toilet, had been discovered and reported by a passenger as the flight was on approach to ABX. The Australian, reports the Daily Mail, said that the note indicated that there was an explosive device on the flight.

The plane was then surrounded by emergency services upon coming to a halt on the tarmac and all passengers were ordered to evacuate the flight. “As soon as we landed the cabin crew started yelling ‘Get out, run, run, run’,” reported one unnamed traveler. The panicked passengers were ordered to leave their luggage behind and jump from the 68-seat plane directly onto the tarmac.

After all passengers were gathered, local police then arrested a 30-year-old man who had been traveling on the flight. Authorities also queried those who had been seated near him; the man was reported to have been quiet during the course of the journey, visiting the lavatory once.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that no device was found on the flight. “There was no actual threat to anybody, just a note, so there was nothing in it,” the source told Reuters, as quoted by DW.com. Virgin Australia confirmed that police had attended to the aircraft upon its arrival at ABX due to a “security incident.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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