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Major plane hijacks around the world

Following is a chronology of some major plane hijacks around the world.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2003 15:58 IST

March 19, 2003: A Cuban airliner carrying 29 passengers was hijacked and landed under US military escort in Key West. Six hijackers took over the plane and surrendered to authorities in Key West.

February 20, 2003
: A man armed with a bayonet hijacked a light plane and forced its pilot to make a 90-minute flight across eastern Australia. Kelly Witchard, the alleged hijacker, was arrested after the plane landed safely in the eastern town of Mackay.

September, 2001
: Three hijacked planes crashed into US landmarks on September 11, destroying New York's World Trade Centre and plunging into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked aircraft crashed near Pittsburgh. A total of 266 people are thought to have died in the four aircraft.

March, 2001: A Russian Vnukovo Airlines Tupolev 154 en route from Istanbul to Moscow with 162 passengers and 12 crew was forced to fly to Saudi Arabia after hijackers demanding an end to war in rebel Chechnya seized the plane. Saudi commandos raided the plane at Medina, killing one hijacker. A Russian flight attendant and a Turkish passenger were killed.

July, 2000: A Syrian exploded a grenade on a Jordanian airliner during a failed hijacking. The man, who wanted to go to Germany to seek asylum, was shot dead after his stun grenade wounded 15 passengers.

December, 1999: Six hijackers seized an Indian Airlines plane flying from Nepal to New Delhi with 183 passengers and crew. Hijackers released 28 hostages and the body of one man stabbed to death. They freed the remaining 154 hostages after India agreed to release three jailed Kashmiri militants.

November, 1996: At least 125 people were killed when a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed in the Indian Ocean. There were 175 people aboard.

December, 1994: Four Muslim fundamentalist gunmen seized an Air France Airbus 300 with 227 passengers and 12 crew. After hijackers killed three people and released 63, the plane flew to Marseilles, where paramilitary forces stormed it, killing the four hijackers and wounding 25 people.

October, 1990: Hijackers seized a Chinese Airways Boeing 737 with 94 passengers and 10 crew. It crashed as it tried to land in Guangzhou, killing 128.

April, 1988: Five Arab gunmen seized a Kuwait Airways 747 carrying 115 passengers and killed two Kuwaitis. The hijacking ended on April 20 in Algiers.

September, 1986: Pakistani forces stormed a Pan Am Boeing 747 with 400 passengers and crew, killing 22 people and ending a 16-hour siege after four Palestinian guerrillas boarded in Karachi.

November, 1985: Palestinians hijacked an Egyptair plane to Malta. Egyptian commandos stormed the plane and 59 people were killed.

June, 1985: Two Lebanese Shi'ite gunmen hijacked a TWA flight from Athens with 153 aboard. Syrian mediation helped end the hijack 16 days later when the last 39 hostages were freed at Beirut airport. One American was shot dead during the hijack.

February, 1978: Two Arab guerrillas seized an airliner at Larnaca, Cyprus. Egyptian commandos flew in uninvited to try to storm the plane during negotiations. Cyprus National Guardsmen resisted them and 15 Egyptians died in a 45-minute battle.

October, 1977: Four Palestinian guerrillas hijacked a German Lufthansa airliner. The pilot was killed before the five-day ordeal ended at Mogadishu when West German commandos stormed the plane, killing three hijackers and freeing 86 hostages.

July, 1976: Four hijackers took an Air France Airbus with 244 passengers and 12 crew. All but 105 Israeli and Jewish hostages were released before arrival at Entebbe, Uganda. Seven days later Israeli commandos staged a rescue operation killing the hijackers. Three passengers were killed.

September, 1974: Air Vietnam plane was hijacked by a man who detonated two hand grenades. All 70 aboard died.

September, 1970: Palestinian guerrillas hijacked three airliners -- one TWA, one Swissair and one BOAC -- forcing them to land in Jordan where the planes were blown up. All hostages were released in exchange for Palestinan prisoners.

July, 1968: Three Palestinian guerrillas seized an Israeli El-Al plane in Rome on July 23 and forced it to Algiers. Algeria held 22 Israeli hostages and the plane. It freed the plane and the final 12 hostages after 40 days in captivity in return for Israel's release of 16 Palestinians.

August, 1960: First reported hijacking in the Soviet Union. No details emerged.

April, 1958: Start of the "Cuban shuttle". A Cubana airlines plane was flown to Mexico, starting a two-way flow of hijacked planes between Cuba and the United States and Mexico.

July, 1948: First hijacking in Asia, when four Chinese hijackers boarded a Cathay Pacific plane from Macau to Hong Kong. The pilot and co-pilot were killed and the plane crashed into the sea, killing 25.

February, 1931: First recorded hijacking of an airliner took place in Peru.

First Published: Jul 31, 2003 13:18 IST