Sierra Leone man tries setting plane on fire

This is a representative image. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Freetown Jun 28, 2016, 01.34 PM (IST)
A court in Sierra Leone heard a case on Tuesday regarding a severe breach of security at the country's biggest airport. A man tried to set fire to an Air France plane after gaining access to the aircraft withour a passport or a boarding card. 

Airport officials promised security would be stepped up after Ibrahim Kanu attempted to board the flight armed with petrol, matches and a cigarette lighter on June 24 at Lungi International Airport, close to the capital of Freetown.

The prosecution said Kanu had entered the restricted area reserved for staff and took a bus connecting to the plane, which is believed to have been an Airbus A330-200 headed for Paris.

A British firm, Westminster Group, is contracted to provide security at the airport but has yet to comment publicly.

Kanu's bail application was rejected on Tuesday on the grounds that he was a flight risk. He was accused of "a very serious criminal offence".

General Manager of the Airport Authority Idrissa Fofanah told journalists that security surveillance had been stepped up following the incident.