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  • Writer's pictureGavin Ang

“Singapore 33, We Are Declaring An Emergency, We Have A Bomb Threat Onboard”

Singapore Airlines A350.


In the early morning hours on September 28th, Singapore Airlines Flight 33, a trans-Pacific flight from San Francisco operated by the Airbus A350-900 9V-SMW, experienced a mid-air emergency. Initial reports are scarce, what we do know happened was that there was an altercation between a passenger and a member of the cabin crew, and the latter was subsequently struck by the unruly passenger. The passenger then proceeded to claim that a bomb was planted onboard the aircraft as the other members of the flight crew restrained him. The flight crew then declared an emergency to air traffic control at 2.50am Singapore time, roughly as the aircraft crossed over the Philippines. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) was then alerted of the situation, and the flight crew elected to continue its flight to Singapore.

Roughly 2 hours later at 4.30am, the aircraft commenced its descent into Singapore. During its descent, it was held in several holding patterns, twice over the open waters of the South China Sea, and another over Batam. En-route, two F-16 Fighting Falcons were dispatched by the Republic of Singapore Air Force to rendezvous with the aircraft, while all air defenses were placed on heightened alert. Meanwhile, Changi Airport went into full emergency mode as all outbound flights were put on hold, while the A350 made its way towards Changi.

Image from Flightradar24

At 5.48am, Flight 33 touched down on Runway 02R, under escort by the two F-16s. The flight then turned off onto taxiway Alpha via A7, before taxiing southward and turning on to taxiway Bravo, where the flight stopped near B13, where the Airport Police apprehended the passenger, while the The Singapore Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group cleared the aircraft of any explosive devices, and verified that the bomb threat was a hoax. Meanwile the passenger was charged with false threat of terrorism acts, and for suspected drug use. After a long ordeal, the passengers were allowed to disembark at Terminal 3 at 9.40am.

The SPF has opened an official investigation into the incident. Updates will be provided through this article on any further updates to this incident



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