As the opening ceremonies begin for the winter Olympics in Sochi today, reports of a person trying to hijack a plane and take it to the games are beginning to circulate.
Apparently, one of the passengers on Pegasus Airlines said there was a bomb on board that was located in the overhead baggage area, and afterwards the hijacker demanded the pilot fly the plane to Sochi, Russia, instead of its intended destination of Turkey. And the demand was made when the aircraft was still in the air.
“While the plane was in the air, one of the passengers said that there was a bomb on board and asked the plane to not land in Sabiha Gokcen [Turkey], but rather to land in Sochi, said Habip Soluk, Turkey’s Transportation Ministry official.
But instead of complying with the hijacker’s wishes, the pilots landed the plane in Instanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport, where it’s still parked on the runway.
Based on an update from an airport official, the pilots believe it’s now safe for the police to come on board the airplane. “People are still inside, but the pilot called security and gave them a signal that they can enter the plane,” said the airport official. “There is a translator, a Turkish man near the [hijacker] Ukrainian to calm him down.”
There has been no word yet whether the hijacker is working alone or is part of a large group, but some experts point to the fact that a threat was made, and not an actual attack, which means it’s likely that this person is a lone wolf and not part of some terrorist organization, since many well-known terrorist groups would have detonated the bomb without warning.
Plus, there has been no official confirmation if a bomb really existed, however it’s safe to assume security is doing all it can to ensure the safety of the passengers and airline crew. There’s sure to be more information about this incident in the hours and days to come.
Image via Wikimedia Commons