Man attempts to divert plane from Ukraine to Sochi: official

GOOGLE MAPS

A passenger on board an Istanbul-bound flight Friday claimed there was a bomb on board and tried to hijack the plane to Sochi, Russia, where the Olympics are kicking off, an official said.

The plane from Kharkov, Ukraine, landed safely at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, but 110 passengers are still on board and authorities are trying to convince the alleged hijacker to give himself up, Habib Soluk, the country's Transport Ministry undersecretary, told NTV television.

The station reported the man had been subdued, but there was no immediate confirmation of that.

Soluk said the man rose from his seat, shouted that there was bomb on board and tried to enter the locked cockpit. The pilot signalled that there was a hijack attempt and the airport was placed on high alert.

Pegasus Airlines confirmed in a brief statement that there was a "bomb threat'' aboard their flight from Kharkov.

With about 100,000 police, security agents and army troops flooding Sochi, Russia has pledged to ensure "the safest Olympics in history.'' But terror fears fueled by recent suicide bombings have left athletes, spectators and officials worldwide jittery about potential threats.

Security experts warn that Islamic militants in the Caucasus, who have threatened to derail the Winter Games that run from Feb. 7-23, could achieve their goal by choosing soft targets away from the Olympic sites or even outside Sochi.

The back-to-back December suicide bombings of a railway station and a bus in Volgograd, about 640 kilometres (400 miles) east of Sochi, killed 34 people and demonstrated the militants' ability to strike with shocking ease. A jihadist group in Dagestan, the epicenter of the Islamic rebellion against Russia that has engulfed the Caucasus, claimed responsibility for the Volgograd bombings and has threatened to strike Sochi.

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here. You DO NOT need to be a member to comment.

Share this article:

News Videos

Latest News

  • Major closure on Bonaventure this weekend


    Work on the approaches to the Champlain Bridge will continue this weekend. As a result, the Bonaventure Expressway towards the bridge will be completely closed between Notre Dame and Carrie-Derrick, from Friday at 10 p.m. until five o'clock Monday morning. Read More
  • New York City man tests positive for Ebola

    NEW YORK - A doctor who became New York City's first Ebola patient was praised for getting treatment immediately upon showing symptoms, and health officials stressed that the nation's most populous city need not fear his wide-ranging travel in the days before his illness began. Read More