999 call causes fruitless search for ‘crashed plane’ in Penang
Predeep Nambiar -September 20, 2020 9:09 PM
GEORGE TOWN: A 999 call about a plane crash sent rescue teams on a fruitless two-hour search in the waters off Tanjung Bungah today, and police said the call was probably a prank.
There were no signs of an aircraft crash in the area around Pulau Tikus islet about 1km offshore, and no mayday calls had been received, northeast district police chief Soffian Santong said.
Aviation, maritime and military authorities also did not record any incidents in the said area so far, Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh said in a short message.
He said the 999 call was made at 2.26pm with the caller claiming a plane had crashed into Pulau Tikus. The fire and rescue department said it left the area after firemen and marine police found nothing after scouring the area for about two hours.
A Bernama report later said Soffian urged anyone who has lost a family member who is a pilot to lodge a police report. “So far we have not received any report from the victim’s family,” he said.
He said two men had claimed to have seen a dark-colour aircraft plunging into the sea. On social media, a man said he saw smoke coming out of the plane before it plunged into the sea while he was at the Tanjung Bungah beach.
Following that, people began to flood the coastal area to watch the search and rescue operations carried out by the authorities including the Civil Defence Force.