On Friday, February 7 a Ukrainian hijacker shouted a “bomb on plane” during a Pegasus Airline flight. The attempted hijacker’s goal was to reroute the airplane to Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Olympics are being held. The Ukrainian hijacker’s attempt to re-route the aircraft failed.
Turkish security officials seized the Ukrainian man who spread the bomb scare on board, who made an attempt to hijack the plane to the city that is hosting the 2014 Olympics – Sochi, Russia. The Transport Ministry of Turkey said the flight was coming from Kharkiv, Ukraine with 110 passengers and was supposed to land at Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. When the pilot on board contacted Turkey’s Air Force Control Center about the hijacking attempt made by the passenger, two F-16 fighters were put into the air to escort the plane to Istanbul. The Boeing eventually made a safe landing with 110 passengers at the Sabiha Gokcen Airport. The security officials at the airport removed the passengers from the aircraft into the buses safely. The hijacker’s attempt to divert the plane to the destination of Olympic events in Sochi failed as he could not hijack the Pegasus airplane.
Furthermore, the governor of Istanbul, Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu said the passengers were evacuated from the airplane without any trouble upon landing, and the hijacker was arrested by the security officials. Officials found no bomb in his possession. The Ukrainian man was injured but there was nothing explosive in his custody. The reason behind his attempt was not established. However, Mutlu said, he is curious and worried regarding the security of his country and the sport events held in Sochi, Russia. Thousands of athletes from different parts of the world have gathered in the city of Sochi, Russia.
The Ukrainian Security Service said the man was under alcoholic influence. However, Gov. Multu denied that by saying the Ukrainian man was not drunk, but might have consumed different substances. According to the Governor, the man believed he was heading towards Sochi instead of Istanbul, and he shouted a “bomb on board” in his luggage, and asked to divert the plane to Sochi, Russia. However, the man did not reach the plane’s cockpit. The Pegasus airline pilot contacted the control center about what was happening in flight. The F16s were dispatched to impede the man’s attempt and accompanied the plane to the Gokcen Airport.
The security officials searched the attempted hijacker after the plane landed, and found nothing dangerous in his personal belongings or on board in the Pegasu aircraft. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul had issued warnings this past Wednesday, to the airlines flying to Sochi, Russia, from the United States, about the explosive substances that could be carried in the toothpaste and other cosmetic tubes too. These warnings also emitted from other country leaders for their citizens and athletes.
Around 640 kilometers from Sochi, more than 30 people were killed in two December suicide bombings in Russia. The highest amount of security alerts and police are protecting Sochi, where thousands of athletes have gathered. The hijacker’s attempt to divert the Flight of Pegasus airplane to the destination of the Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, failed. Additionally, Turkish authorities found nothing dangerous in the baggage of the attempted hijacker.
By Iqra Amjad