SA Airlink has blamed an “anomalous hi-jack alert” that was broadcast from an aircraft carrying more than 70 passengers and 4 crew members for a hi-jacking scare on Monday.

The aircraft was flying from Cape Town International Airport to Pretoria’s Wonderboom airport when rumours flooded social media that it had been hi-jacked.

The airline posted messages on its Twitter account saying: “We have been in contact with our pilots & can confirm that no hijacking has taken place. We are investigating the matter further.”

Airline spokesman Karin Murray explained that a transponder had incorrectly broadcast the hijack alert.

“Airlink confirms one of its aircraft‚ an Avro RJ‚ operating as flight SA8678 on 11 July 2016 from Cape Town to Pretoria’s Wonderboom Airport with 72 passengers and 4 crew on board‚ this afternoon emitted an anomalous hi-jack alert through its transponder.

“The passengers‚ crew and aircraft are all safe and on the ground at Wonderboom Airport where authorities have held the aircraft as a prescribed precautionary measure while they verify that all is in good order‚” she said.

“Airlink will assist the investigating authorities with their inquiry‚ which is a mandatory step following such incidents. Airlink has also initiated an internal investigation into the erroneous transmission.”

Actor Roelof Storm‚ who was aboard the aircraft‚ said in Afrikaans on twitter that the aircraft had been parked on the runway for about 70 minutes and there was definitely no hi-jacking.

- TMG Digital.

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