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Passenger: Hijacker threatened to crash plane

Posted: February 17, 2014 8:18 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2014 8:18 a.m.
 

GENEVA (AP) — An Italian passenger says the man who hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines jet threatened to crash it if the pilot kept trying to get back into the cockpit.

The plane from Ethiopia to Italy was hijacked Monday and diverted to Geneva by its co-pilot, who Swiss officials said locked the pilot out of the cockpit after he went to the bathroom.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted passenger Francesco Cuomo as saying the pilot was demanding that the hijacker open the door and tried to break it down without success.

Cuomo, 25, was quoted as saying the hijacker, speaking in poor English on a loudspeaker, threatened to crash the plane in response and then the oxygen masks came down.

The hijacker surrendered to police in Switzerland and all passengers were safe.

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