PRAGUE - A passenger tried to hijack a Russian plane on Thursday but was
overpowered and the aircraft was able to make an emergency landing in Prague,
the passengers on board the Moscow-Geneva flight said he had an explosive device
and ordered (the crew) to change course," Lev Koshlyakov, deputy general
director of Russian airline Aeroflot, told Reuters.
"By now the passenger has been pacified and is in the hands of law protection
officers," he added. "There are reasons to believe that this was an act of
The Airbus A-320 on the Moscow-Geneva route made an unplanned landing in
Prague after the pilot declared an emergency on board. Russia's transport
ministry said there were 168 people on board.
"A drunk person was on board. He provoked a brawl with passengers, threatened
to damage the plane and demanded that it change the course," Itar-Tass news
agency quoted Aeroflot representative in Prague Viktor Parkhimovich as saying.
Czech police spokesman Pavel Hantak said the man was subdued on the plane.
"According to our information none of the pasengers, nor crew, were hurt. The
culprit apparently was not injured either," he said.
The plane landed in Prague at 10:42 a.m. local time (0942 GMT). After
landing, it was directed to taxi to an outer area of the airport, where it was
surrounded by emergency vehicles, officials said.
Aeroflot flights suffered a series of hijackings in the early 1990s.
Aeroflot's Koshlyakov said the the plane was now preparing to continue the
flight to Geneva.