Skip to main content
Report this ad

See also:

An airplane hijacker has threatened to bomb plane headed to Sochi, Russia

Airplane headed to Sochi with hijacker
Airplane headed to Sochi with hijacker
What's in the Sky News Blog

A passenger announced, Friday February 7 "that there was a bomb on board" his plane and wanted it diverted to Sochi -- the Russian city hosting the Winter Olympics amid terrorism fears -- Turkish officials said.

Rather than abide by the request, the Pegasus Airlines' crew sent a hijacking alert that Turkey's Air Force Control Center received at 5:20 p.m. (10:20 a.m. ET), Turkey's semiofficial Anadolu news agency reported. About 20 minutes later, two F-16 fighter jets scrambled to intercept the Boeing 737-800.

"These planes accompanied the Pegasus plane over the Black Sea," that report added.
Eventually, the airliner landed safely at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, where video showed police and security officials milling around the jet as buses eventually removed passengers.

Istanbul's governor tweeted around 10 p.m. that "the air pirate has been neutralized" and all other passengers "disembarked from the plane without any problems."

"The operation is complete," Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu said.

The incident came at a tense time given the various threats surrounding the Winter Games, which kicked off in earnest Friday night with its opening ceremony.

Russian security forces have cracked down in recent weeks on suspected militants in the restive North Caucasus republic of Dagestan -- which is located on the other side of the Caucasus Mountains from Sochi -- and elsewhere in recent weeks after twin suicide bombings in the city of Volgograd in December.

There have also been concerns specifically about explosives-laden airlines. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul said Wednesday night that the his nation's Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to airlines flying into Russia warning that explosive materials could be concealed in toothpaste or cosmetic tubes.

For more details and footage from CNN, please visit What's in the Sky news blog.

Report this ad