Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Hijack attempt on Ethiopian plane thwarted, forced to land in Geneva

Police stand on the stairs after passengers were evacuated from a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Plane on the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP) Police stand on the stairs after passengers were evacuated from a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Plane on the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP)
Associated Press | Geneva | Posted: February 17, 2014 1:24 pm | Updated: February 17, 2014 1:25 pm

An Ethiopian Airlines plane destined for Rome was forced to land early Monday in Geneva, where the hijacker was arrested, authorities said.

The airline said one of its planes had been “forced to proceed to Geneva.” Its website said the flight landed safely and “all passengers and crew are safe.” It gave no further details. Police escorted passengers one by one, their hands over their heads, from the taxied plane to waiting vehicles.

Swiss police said the plane made an unscheduled landing in the Swiss city at 6 a.m. (0500 GMT) and the hijacker was arrested. Police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brandt told The Associated Press that “the situation is under control” and nobody on the flight was injured.

Further details of the incident were to be released at a news conference in Geneva at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT). Cairo airport officials said the pilot of the plane, flight 702, informed the control tower at Abu Simbel in southern Egypt that his plane had been hijacked.

The pilot did not ask to land in Egypt, and the plane headed for Libyan airspace, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to brief the media. Geneva airport said departures would resume at 8.15 a.m. (0715 GMT) and arrivals at 8.45 a.m. (0745 GMT).

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