From 9/11 attacks to Kandahar incident: Hijack cases around the world

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 29, 2016 15:43 IST
An official telephones from the ramp of a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca. (Reuters Photo)

An EgyptAir flight on Tuesday was hijacked by a passenger with a suicide belt strapped on, the latest in a series of such high-profile cases that have rocked the aviation industry. It brought back memories of the plane abduction hours before the September 11, 2001 attacks and the bloody 1985 EgyptAir hijack. Here are previous cases of plane hijacks:

March, 2015: Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf was hijacked by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz (28), who locked himself in the cockpit. He crashed the plane in the Alps near the French village Prads-Haute-Bléone. 150 people died.

January 2011: Turkish Airlines Flight 1754 from Oslo to Istanbul was in Bulgarian airspace when an unsuccessful attempt was made to hijack it. The suspect said that he had a bomb but passengers overpowered the hijacker.

September 2001: American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93 were hijacked on the morning of September 11 by al Qaeda-affiliated extremists. Flight 11 and 175 were deliberately crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon and Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after hijackers crashed the plane due to a revolt by passengers. A total of around 3,000 people were killed.

Read: 4 crew, 3 passengers still on board hijacked EgyptAir plane

July 1968: To date, the only successful El Al hijacking attempt, as three members of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked El Al Flight 426 from Rome to Tel Aviv. Diverting to Algiers, the negotiations extended over forty days. Both the hijackers and the hostages went free.

December 1999: An Indian Airlines flight 814 from Kathmandu to New Delhi was hijacked by Pakistani militants, who forced it to land in Kandahar in Afghanistan. A tense negotiation followed that stretched on for days and India released three top militants, including Maulana Masood Azhar who has since been implicated in several terror strikes such as the Mumbai 2008 attacks.

February 1993: Russian Aeroflot passenger jet flying from Perm to Moscow diverted to Gardermoen airport by two Iranian brothers. Hijackers surrendered and hostages went free. The hijackers were later given asylum in Norway for humanitarian reasons.

September, 1986: 22 people were killed when Pakistani security forces storm Pan Am Flight 73 at Karachi, carrying 360 passengers and crew after a 16-hour siege. The hijacking is known for the heroics of the cabin crew, including Neerja Bhanot on whom a movie was made in 2016.

Read: In pics: EgyptAir plane hijacked, taken to Cyprus; passengers released

August, 1984: Seven young Sikh hijackers demanded an Indian Airlines jetliner flying from Delhi to Srinagar be flown to the United Arab Emirates. The plane was taken to UAE where the defense minister of UAE negotiated the release of the passengers.

August, 1982: A lone Sikh militant, armed with a pistol and a hand grenade, hijacked an Indian Airlines on a scheduled flight from Mumbai to New Delhi carrying 69 persons. Indian security forces killed the hijacker and rescued all passengers.

January, 1971: Indian Airlines Fokker F27 on scheduled Srinagar-Jammu flight was hijacked to Lahore by two self-proclaimed Kashmir separatists. All passengers were released by February 2 and repatriated to India, but the aircraft was blown-up, leading to an India-Pakistan air-travel ban, and suspension of overflight rights until 1976.

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