Industry experts were of the view that if the engines of the aircraft were running, the man would have been sucked in and killed.
A man climbed onto the wing of an airplane preparing to take off from Nigeria's largest city Friday, sparking panic among passengers inside the aircraft, authorities said.
He then jumped onto a wing of the plane and tried to access the cabin, the airline said.
According to her, the incident, which involved an aircraft with the registration number 5N-HAI, occurred at 10:09 a.m when the aircraft was ready for takeoff after a clearance from Air Traffic Controllers (ATC).
The agency, in a statement by its General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu said that the aircraft pilot of the aircraft was the one that first raised the alarm to its security outfit, Aviation Security (AVSEC).
An official of the airline who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity said the incident lasted for about 30 minutes before the Aviation Security (AVSEC) came to apprehend the man whose mission was not yet known.
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Nadia Hopley, 36, an unemployed mother of four, said she hoped that the army's presence would make the area safer for children. There have been concerns over a delay in sending troops into the Cape Flats.
"The aircraft and luggage were thoroughly scrutinized", the company explained, before determining that it was safe to fly to Port Harcourt in Nigeria's Niger Delta.
The man was taken into custody by authorities. The airside is supposed to be sterile and only authorised persons wearing their approved On Duty Cards should have access. What were the motives? It was not clear how he was able to reach the plane or what his intention was.
He said: "How could he have entered the security controlled areas?"
According to One Mile at a Time, the man was arrested and the flight resumed.
This newspaper learnt that airport authorities have since brought the situation under control.
"How many of them do we have sufficient background checks on".