Turkey scrambled an F-16 fighter jet following a bomb-threat aboard a Ukraine-outbound plane. A passenger, among 110 on the plane, made a bomb threat and demanded the plane be diverted to Sochi. The plane eventually landed in Istanbul – after crew calmed down the man who had reportedly been drinking. This threat follows the US’ warning of “toothpaste” bombs.
Turkey scrambled an F-16 fighter jet to accompany a passenger plane arriving in Istanbul from Ukraine on Friday after a bomb threat was made by a passenger demanding to go to the Winter Olympics venue of Sochi, Turkish officials said.
Television footage showed the Pegasus Airlines flight from the Ukrainian city of Kharkov arriving in Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport.
“A Pegasus Airlines plane flying from Kharkov to Sabiha Gokcen landed at Sabiha Gokcen safely after receiving a bomb threat while in the air,” the Turkish civil aviation authority said in a statement.
“People are still inside but the pilot called security and gave them a signal that they can enter the plane. There is a translator – a Turkish man near the Ukrainian to calm him down,” an airport official said.
The passenger was believed to have drunk alcohol and was calmed down by the crew and persuaded to let the plane, a Boeing 737-800, land in Istanbul at 6:02 pm (1602 GMT), according to Dogan news agency.
An official from Turkey’s transport ministry said there were 110 passengers on board and confirmed that a bomb threat had been made but said the plane had landed safely.
The first picture of the hijacker has been released:
— ceylan ozbudak (@ceylanozbudak) February 7, 2014