Suspected hijacker of Moscow-bound plane detained

Baku, January 22, AZERTAC

A man who attempted to hijack a passenger plane bound from Surgut to Moscow has been detained, Russian Investigative Committee Spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko told TASS.

"The man has been detained, he is a citizen of Surgut, who was earlier convicted for damaging property," Petrenko said.

According to preliminary investigation, "a drunk passenger, threatening with arms, tried to break into the pilots’ cabin during the flight and demanded changing the plane’s flight route." The plane’s commander made a decision to make an emergency landing in Khanty-Mansiysk, West Siberia.

A criminal case has been launched into hijacking a plane, with a threat to use violence, Petrenko said. An investigation is ongoing.

According to the Urals transport investigations directorate of the Investigative Committee, the suspected hijacker did not carry any weapons on him.

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee stressed that the lives of passengers and the crew are not in danger now. There were more than 70 passengers onboard the plane.

An Aeroflot Boeing 737-8LJ (flight SU1515) took off from Surgut for Moscow at 12:55 Moscow time on Tuesday. Fifteen minutes after the takeoff, it changed its course. According to emergency services, the plane was diverted due to ‘hooliganism steps’ of a passenger. The plane was sent to the airport of Khanty-Mansiysk, where it landed at 14:18 Moscow Time.

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