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Passenger tried to hijack plane to Sochi: CBC

Feb. 7, 2014, Istanbul, Turkey - A Ukrainian passenger on an Istanbul-bound flight claimed Friday there was a bomb on board and tried to hijack the plane to Sochi, Russia, where the Olympics are kicking off, an official said.


February 7, 2014
By CBC News

The plane from Kharkiv, Ukraine, landed safely in Istanbul, but 110
passengers are still on board and authorities were trying to convince
the alleged hijacker to give himself up, Habib Soluk, the Turkish
Transport Ministry undersecretary, told NTV television.

 

The station said an F-16 fighter plane was scrambled as soon as the
pilot signalled there was a hijacking attempt. It also reported the man
had been subdued, but there was no immediate confirmation of that.

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The Interfax news agency cited the Ukrainian Security Service, the
country's main security agency, as saying the passenger who tried to
hijack the plane was in a state of severe alcohol intoxication. It also
said he has been pacified, and no weapons or explosives were found on
him, but it was not clear where the information was coming from.

 

Soluk said the man rose from his seat, shouted that there was bomb on
board and tried to enter the locked cockpit. The pilot signaled that
there was a hijack attempt and Sabiha Gokcen airport was placed on high
alert.

 

"The man was made to believe the plane was heading to Sochi," Soluk
said. "We are hoping that the passengers are evacuated without even a
nose-bleed."

 

Pegasus Airlines confirmed in a brief statement there was a "bomb threat" aboard their flight from Kharkiv.

The plane's captain, Ilyas Karagulle, signaled that the crew was well, according to state-run TRT television.

With about 100,000 police, security agents and army troops flooding Sochi, Russia has pledged to ensure "the safest Olympics in history." But terror fears fuelled by recent suicide bombings have left athletes, spectators and officials worldwide jittery about potential threats.

 

Security experts warn that Islamic militants in the Caucasus, who
have threatened to derail the Winter Games that run from Feb. 7-23,
could achieve their goal by choosing soft targets away from the Olympic
sites or even outside Sochi.

 

The spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Security Service could not be reached.