17 Feb 2014

Co-pilot ‘left on a rope’ after hijacking plane

The co-pilot who hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines plane took control of the aircraft when the pilot went to the toilet, landed in Geneva and left the aircraft through a window on a rope.

Swiss authorities detained the hijacker of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that was forced to land at Geneva’s international airport and police said all passengers were unhurt.

Passengers left the plane parked near the end of the runway and were checked by police as they held their hands on their necks, before boarding a bus, a Reuters witness said.

Airport police said the situation was “under control” after flight ET 702 had been diverted from its original destination of Rome. The airline earlier said the flight from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa had been “forced to proceed” to Geneva.

An Ethiopian government spokesman, Redwan Hussein, told Reuters the flight had made a scheduled stop in the Sudanese capital Khartoum where he said the hijacker might have boarded the flight.

“We don’t know where they are from or how many they are but it looks like the hijacker or hijackers boarded the flight in Khartoum”, Redwan told Reuters shortly before police announced they had detained the assailant.