Passenger: Hijacker threatened to crash plane
by John Heilprin, Associated Press
February 17, 2014 11:00 AM | 1079 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Olivier Jornot, Prosecutor General of the Canton of Geneva, right, answers questions to reporters about a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Plane, during a press conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, February 17, 2014. The co-pilot, an Ethiopian man born in 1983, took control of the plane when the pilot ventured outside the cockpit. The man wanted asylum in Switzerland. Jornot said Swiss federal authorities were investigating the hijacking and would press charges that could carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)
Olivier Jornot, Prosecutor General of the Canton of Geneva, right, answers questions to reporters about a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Plane, during a press conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, February 17, 2014. The co-pilot, an Ethiopian man born in 1983, took control of the plane when the pilot ventured outside the cockpit. The man wanted asylum in Switzerland. Jornot said Swiss federal authorities were investigating the hijacking and would press charges that could carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)
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GENEVA (AP) — An Italian passenger says the man who hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines jet threatened to crash it if the pilot kept trying to get back into the cockpit.

The plane from Ethiopia to Italy was hijacked Monday and diverted to Geneva by its co-pilot, who Swiss officials said locked the pilot out of the cockpit after he went to the bathroom.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted passenger Francesco Cuomo as saying the pilot was demanding that the hijacker open the door and tried to break it down without success.

Cuomo, 25, was quoted as saying the hijacker, speaking in poor English on a loudspeaker, threatened to crash the plane in response and then the oxygen masks came down.

The hijacker surrendered to police in Switzerland and all passengers were safe.



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