Alitalia Crew Reportedly Foils a Hijacking Attempt

April 25, 2011

DEVELOPING: A would-be hijacker was subdued by a crew on board an Alitalia flight from Paris to Rome on Sunday night, reported news agencies. He apparently tried to divert the plane to Libya.

The man, who was from Kazakhstan, was armed with a nail clipper and was reportedly in a confused state of mind during the scuffle, reported Italian news agencies.

All 131 passengers aboard flight AZ329 are safe and that police at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport took the man into custody for questioning, Alitalia said.

The BBC reported that a female flight attendant was slightly injured while the man was overpowered by other crew members.

“A clearly agitated passenger attacked a flight attendant, asking that the flight be diverted to Tripoli,” Alitalia said. “Thanks to the prompt intervention of attendants, the aggressor was immobilized and (kept) in his seat, and the flight continued on to Rome,” where it landed at 9:55 p.m. (1955 GMT) as scheduled, the airline said.

A statement from Alitalia airlines said the man had assaulted a flight attendant “and asked that the plane be taken to Tripoli,” reported Reuters.

Alitalia didn’t identify the passenger. Police took the man into custody for questioning at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, Alitalia said.

The man’s motive was not immediately known. Italian police were in contact with French authorities over the incident, ANSA said.

With the Associated Press

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