Breaking News: EgyptAir Flight Hijacked
A n Airbus A320 aircraft which operated as EgyptAir flight 181 from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 and diverted to Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus where it landed safely before 9:00 in the morning local time, according to reports from multiple media sources.
EgyptAir Flight Hijacked
According to a statement from officials of EgyptAir, of the 56 passengers who were aboard the airplane, all but five foreigners who were not Egyptian citizens were released as a result of negotiations and transported via buses to a safe location. None of seven members of the flight crew had yet been released.
An EGYPTAIR official declared that flight number MS181 heading from HBE Airport (Borg El- Arab Airport in Alexandria) to Cairo Airport was forced to be diverted to Larnaca airport in Cyprus as the aircraft was hijacked. The aircraft type is Airbus A320 with 56 passengers onboard in addition to 7 crew members and one security member. The aircraft landed safely at Larnaca airport.
EGYPTAIR confirms that they are following up with the concerned authorities in Cyprus through EGYPTAIR IOCC and negotiations are undergoing with the hijacker.
We will update you with any news within one hour.
A passenger who was strapped with explosives attached to a belt reportedly threatened the detonation of the belt to Omar al-Gammal, who was a pilot of the airplane and informed authorities of the incident. Whether or not only one person was involved in the hijacking of the aircraft is not currently known.
There is no word as to the reason as to why the aircraft was hijacked; nor were any demands known from the hijacker.
After being forced to land, the pilot parked the airplane at an apron at Larnaca International Airport, which was closed with flights diverted elsewhere. There is no word at this time as to when the airport will once again resume normal operations.
Officials from Cyprus are currently in communications with the suspected hijacker; while anti-terrorism units have been deployed at the airport in order to deal with the crisis.