KUALA LUMPUR: Passengers waiting to board an aircraft here were left standing out on the tarmac for four hours after an agitated passenger uttered the word "bomb".
A passenger, while boarding a Malindo Air flight OD1158 to Penang on Tuesday, reportedly got tired of waiting in queue for his boarding pass to be checked at the entrance of the plane and said, "Why need to check? I have no bomb."
The word "bomb" sparked a security threat as the airline was forced to evacuate the 37 passengers off the plane, tow it to an isolation area and have a bomb disposal squad turn it upside down for explosives.
The passengers were left standing out on the tarmac from 4pm to 8pm, while police searched them one by one, media reports here said.
"This is a sensitive word, hence we had to deploy a K9 and bomb unit to evaluate the threat," police said.
ACP Azmi said all passengers were taken off the aircraft while the plane was towed to an isolation area on the runway.
He said investigations revealed that the supposed "bomb threat" was nothing more than just the careless words of an agitated passenger, and that police gave the green light for the passengers to take off at 7.30pm.
"Don't say words like bomb on a plane," he warned.