So scary. Passengers on an EgyptAir flight headed from Cairo to Alexandria were left terrified after a man hijacked the aircraft and demanded the plane land in Cyprus instead. Get the latest details here.
A hijacker claiming to be wearing an explosive belt forced the EgyptAir pilot on Flight MS181 to divert the jet’s landing from Cairo to Cyprus on March 29. Frightened passengers were seen exiting the aircraft upon landing, but several were kept hostage on-board the plane as negotiations are worked out. What a terrifying ordeal.
Flight MS181 was carrying 55 passengers, 7 crew members and one EgyptAir security official when Seif El Din Mustafa hijacked the plane, EgyptAir confirmed in a press release. Six hours after the diverted landing in Cyprus, three passengers, the pilot, co-pilot, 3 crew members and the hijacker were still aboard the aircraft as negotiations are being worked out. Eventually, everyone was freed without harm.
This is “not something that has to do with terrorism,” according to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades confirmed. It is reported that Seif had a personal problem with a woman on-board the plane, and he claimed to have an explosive belt on him at the time of the hijacking, although officials later confirmed that this was false. Seif was arrested as the situation died down.
A majority of passengers on the plane were Egyptian, but there were also citizens from Belgium, Greece, Italy and the United States. It is unclear who the three passengers are that are still being held on-board, but video from the scene shows everybody else exiting the aircraft toward safety.
Seif has reportedly made no specific demands, but negotiations are still underway, and an aircraft is being sent to pick up the passengers who were allowed off the plane. We will continue to update you with news on this scary situation.