Turkish Plane Lands in Turkey After Reported Hijack Attempt (Corrected)
Agence France-Presse is reporting that a Turkish airliner made an emergency landing in Turkey due to a hijacking attempt. Other reporters are adding details on Twitter. So far, they've said that the Pegasus plane contains 110 passengers, and that the hijacker attempted to divert the plane to land in Sochi during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. A Russian reporter and others have said the hijacker has been “neutralized” and Turkish state media notes that the plane is now at a safe zone in a Turkish airport. Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News reported that an F-16 military jet forced the plane to land in Turkey following the hijacking attempt.
According to The Associated Press the 110 passengers are still on board the plane, which is currently on the ground at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul. Habib Soluk, Turkey's Transport Military undersecretary, told Turkish news channel NTV that officials are trying to convince the hijacker to turn himself in. The Telegraph reports that Soluk said, "We are sure that he didn't enter the cockpit. We know that the aircraft was hijacked before it entered Turkish airspace." Preliminary reports are not entirely consistent. It is reported a single passenger/hijacker, heavily intoxicated, was involved and that the alleged hijacker is a Ukrainian citizen. It is claimed he tried to enter the flight deck, unsuccessfully, while calling out, “Let’s fly to Sochi.”
An earlier story incorrectly said the airline was Ukraine-based.