‘Attempted hijacking’: Aeroflot passenger demands to be flown to Afghanistan
Russian Aeroflot Flight SU1515 was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger attempted to hijack the aircraft, demanding that the plane be diverted to Afghanistan.
Aeroflot Boeing 737 with 69 passengers and seven crew members on board was flying from the Siberian city of Surgut to Moscow when the passenger tried to break into the cockpit, claiming he was armed. The plane has landed in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk in Western Siberia. The would-be hijacker has been detained, Russia’s Investigative Committee confirms.
The unruly passenger was drunk, investigators say. No weapons were found on him.
Video filmed on board the plane shows the suspect being led out in handcuffs, prompting applause from the other passengers.
Sources say the plane landed after the crew convinced the unruly passenger that the plane required refueling.
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The passenger has been identified as a Surgut resident, previously convicted on property damage charges. He has been detained multiple times before for drunk and disorderly behavior.
At least 10 police squads were dispatched to the airport.
A photo of the would-be hijacker has emerged in the Russian media. Sources have identified him only as 41-year-old Pavel. Authorities have yet to confirm his identity.
A criminal case has been opened on charges of hijacking an aircraft with threats of violence, which could land the offender in prison for 12 years.