Unknown calls Vietnam Airlines, threatens to shoot down plane bound for Hanoi from Japan



A Vietnam Airlines plane. – Photo VNA / VNS

HANOI — An anonymous man called a branch of Vietnam Airlines in Japan on Wednesday morning and said that if a flight from Narita (Japan) to Hanoi did not turn around, it would be shot down, according to the Authority. Vietnam Civil Aviation (CAAV).

Flight VN5311 / NRT-HAN took off from Narita (Japan) bound for Hà Nội at 10:30 am (local time) on Wednesday January 5, with 15 crew members and 47 passengers on board.

At around 11:10 a.m., the Vietnam Airlines branch in Japan received a phone call from a man who spoke Japanese and claimed to be American.

“Flight VN5311 had better come back to Narita or it will be shot down while passing Tokyo Bay,” said the unidentified caller.

The Vietnam Airlines office reported the incident to the Vietnam Airlines Corporation, which passed the information on to Japanese authorities, CAAV and agencies of the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security.

The Society has called an emergency meeting of its Emergency Committee and Counterterrorism Steering Sub-Committee.

CAAV submitted a report to Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể and Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh, who is also chairman of the National Civil Aviation Safety Committee.

With the approval of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport, the head of CAAV asked Vietnam Airlines to ask Japan for permission to divert the flight to the Japanese airport in Fukuoka.

The flight landed safely at Fukuoka Airport at 1:02 p.m.

After authorities and police checked the plane, interviewed crew members and passengers, and the flight’s safety was assessed, it was cleared to leave Fukuoka at 3:48 p.m. for Hanoi and landed at the airport. Ná»™i Bài International at 6:12 p.m. (Vietnam time).

CAAV reported the incident to relevant agencies who will coordinate with the Japanese side to clarify what happened.

The agency said the flight was a B787-868 aircraft.


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