Ethiopian Airlines hijacker threatened to crash plane, passenger says

Mon, 17 Feb 2014
The Associated Press, cbc.ca

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Police officers help passengers disembark from the hijacked Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 702 at Cointrin Airport in Geneva February 17, 2014. Swiss authorities detained the hijacker of the Ethiopian Airlines flight that was forced to land at Geneva’s international airport on Monday and police said all passengers were unhurt. Passengers left the plane parked near the end of the runway and were checked by police as they held their hands on their necks, before boarding a bus, a Reuters witness said. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND – Tags: TRANSPORT CRIME LAW) – RTX18YY5 Denis Balibouse/Reuters

An Italian passenger says the man who hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines jet threatened to crash it if the pilot kept trying to get back into the cockpit.

The plane from Ethiopia to Italy was hijacked Monday and diverted to Geneva by its co-pilot, who Swiss officials said locked the pilot out of the cockpit after he went to the bathroom.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted passenger Francesco Cuomo as saying the pilot was demanding that the hijacker open the door and tried to break it down without success.

Cuomo, 25, was quoted as saying the hijacker, speaking in poor English on a loudspeaker, threatened to crash the plane in response and then the oxygen masks came down.

The hijacker surrendered to police in Switzerland and all passengers were safe.


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