Passengers in suspected hijacked plane in Turkey evacuated
Friday, February 07, 2014
ISTANBUL - “All the passengers were evacuated without any problem,” Mayor Huseyin Avni Mutlu told reporters.
He also said that the hijacker was seized and the mission is safely completed.
After landing the man "thought at first that he had landed in Sochi. It took some time for him to realise we were in Istanbul," Mutlu said.
A potential hijacker wanted to direct the plane to Sochi in Russia, where the Winter Olympic games opened on Friday.
Turkey`s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that the hijacker was a Ukrainian citizen born in 1969 and his surname is Kozlov.
In the air, the pilot emitted a hijack alert and the Turkish F-16 military jets was scrambled. The Boeing 737-800 airliner landed at Istanbul`s Sabiha Gokcen airport at 6:05 pm.
The plane was then immediately stormed by Turkish anti-terrorism commandos, reports said.
Turkish television channels showed images of the aircraft surrounded by ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles with flashing lights after it touched down.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a press release that the citizen who tried to hijack the plane might have consumed too much alcohol.
The passenger attempted to enter the cockpit and divert the plane to Sochi, Russia, SBU said.
No weapons or bombs were found on him, SBU added.
Meanwhile, the Director of Information Policy Department of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine Yevgeniy Perebiynis told Interfax news agency that the Ukraine Embassy in Turkey is contact with the Turkish Foreign Ministry and security departments. Ukraine`s Consul in Istanbul went to the airport to investigate, Perebiynis said.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency/AFP