'Bomb joke' forces plane to abort take-off

[UPDATED] MANILA, Philippines – It was a bad joke on the part of a barkada member aboard an Airphil Express flight, whose pilot had to abort take-off Wednesday, April 12.

The passenger, who remains unnamed as of posting time, made a joke about a supposed bomb inside the airplane bound for Puerto Princesa City, said operations officials of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

The plane was scheduled to leave 12:20 pm. The flight's pilot requested police assistance from airport authorities at roughly 1:26 p.m., while the plane remained on the airport's taxiway and had not taken off.

The person who made the joke belonged to a barkada of 7 aboard the AirPhil Express plane, airport officials noted.

In a phone interview, another airport official, who was unauthorized to speak on the matter, told Rappler the person involved even shouted in making the joke.

It is illegal in the Philippines to joke about bombs in airports.

More to follow. – with reports from Paterno Esmaquel II and David Santos/Rappler.com