Plane in emergency landing in Turkey after hijack attempt

Friday 07 February 2014 20.52
The Winter Olympics opening ceremony was under way in Sochi when the man attempted to divert the plane
The Winter Olympics opening ceremony was under way in Sochi when the man attempted to divert the plane

Turkey scrambled a fighter jet to force down an airliner from Ukraine after a man on board ordered it to Sochi where the Winter Olympics opening ceremony was under way, Turkish officials said.

A Turkish F-16 forced the plane to land in Istanbul after the Pegasus Airlines pilot managed to sound the alert.

The hijacker was believed to be a Ukrainian man, according to Turkish media.

Outlets reported that he was overpowered and security forces were on the plane, which was carrying 110 people.

Habib Soluk, deputy Turkish transport ministry, said that the man was holding a detonator as he tried to get to the cockpit and claimed there was a bomb on board.

"We are sure that he didn't enter the cockpit. We know that the aircraft was hijacked before it entered Turkish airspace," Mr Soluk said.

"Security forces seized the hijacker, there were no casualties."