12 passengers detained in Abu Dhabi after smoke detection forced Etihad plane to divert
ABU DHABI // A total of 12 passengers have been detained by Abu Dhabi authorities in connection with the diversion of an Etihad Airways flight, confirmed the airline.
No arrests have been made as yet, said the company in a statement.
Etihad Airways flight EY 461 was on its way from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi on Monday when smoke detected in two toilets prompted the captain to make an unscheduled landing in Jakarta “as a precautionary measure”.
The flight made a safe landing in Indonesia.
“The flight resumed after a security search of the aircraft, passengers and their carry-on luggage,” said Etihad Airways.
“The captain implemented strict controls over passenger movement in the cabin, particularly passenger access to the toilets.”
The airplane had resumed its journey but two hours before it landed in Abu Dhabi the smoke alarm sounded again while the cabin crew were preparing the meal service.
“The smoke was detected and dealt with immediately by the crew,” according to the statement.
“The captain decided to position crew members at each of the toilets, which meant that a normal cabin service was not possible. The service was discontinued and the crew continued to monitor and secure toilet access for the remainder of the flight,” the statement read.
The aircraft was searched and released shortly after arrival at Abu Dhabi when it was confirmed it was safe to do so.
Authorities at Abu Dhabi Airport interviewed passengers and crew about the incidents upon their arrival.
The flight arrived four hours behind schedule at 10.25am on Tuesday.
“The events that occurred during the flight remain under investigation and Etihad Airways is assisting the authorities to complete this as soon as possible,” said Etihad Airways.
Updated: February 19, 2014 04:00 AM