EgyptAir Plane Hijacking: All Passengers Freed Without Injury
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 29, 2016
An EgyptAir plane flying from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus on Tuesday. The passengers and crew were freed unharmed and the hijacker, whose motives still remain a mystery, was arrested after giving himself up.
Eighty-one people, including 21 foreigners and 15 crew members had been onboard the Airbus 320 flight when it took off, Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement.
Conflicting theories have emerged about the hijacker’s motives, as some believe the incident was not terror related, but the hijacker did mention the release of women prisoners in Egypt.
After the plane emergency landed at Larnaca airport, negotiations began and everyone on board was freed except for three passengers and four crew members. After a short time, Cypriot television captured these people leaving the plane via the stairs and another man climbing out of the cockpit window and running off.
The hijacker then surrendered to authorities.
At one point, witnesses claimed that the hijacker was outfitted with an explosive belt, forcing the plane to turn away from its destination and toward Cyprus. These claims appear to be false as the authorities were not able to find any explosives on the man when he surrendered.
This incident is only the latest for Egypt that has raised concerns about security at Egypt’s airports. In October 2015, Metrojet Flight 9268 was downed in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. ISIS claimed responsibility, saying it breached security and smuggled a bomb on board.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.