Passengers Escape From Hijacked EgyptAir Plane
Footage shows people escaping from an EgyptAir plane that was hijacked on March 29.
The video shows a crew member cracking open the cockpit window and fleeing the plane.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 29, 2016
An Egyptian man hijacked Flight MS181, which had taken off from Bourg el-Arab airport and was on its way to Cairo. He forced the aircraft, which carried least 55 passengers, including 26 foreigners and a seven-member crew, to land in Cyprus instead.
After an hours-long standoff at the Larnaca airport, the hijacker surrendered and was arrested.
Before he surrendered, most of the passengers had been let go except four crew members and three passengers. No travelers were harmed.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 29, 2016
Meanwhile, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the hijacking was “not something that has to do with terrorism.”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 29, 2016
A Cyprus government official said authorities are investigating the incident and that the man “seems (to be) in love.”
President Anastasiades was asked by reporters whether he could confirm that the incident was about a woman. “Always, there is a woman,” he said, invoking laughter.
Although the hijacker’s motivations are not clear, officials said that the hijacker had tried to communicate with his Cypriot ex-wife, who lives on the island.
A Cypriot police official said the individual had requested to speak his Cypriot ex-wife, with whom he has four children.
The hijacker also complained about the Egyptian government and demanded the release of female prisoners from Egyptian jails.
Another official said the individual gave negotiators the name of a woman who lives in Cyprus and asked to give her an envelope.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.