Hijacked Egypt Plane Showed No Signs of Distress
CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on the hijacked EgyptAir plane that has landed in Larnaca in Cyprus. (all times local):
9:50 a.m. - An official with a flight-tracking website says the EgyptAir flight that was hijacked on the way to Cairo showed no immediate signs of distress while in the air.
Ian Petchenik, a spokesman for FlightRadar24, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that EgyptAir flight MS181 flew in a typical fashion on the Cyprus, without the pilots signaling any trouble via their transponder.
Petchenik said: "It looks like a completely controlled flight aside from the fact it was hijacked."
Egyptian aviation authority says the flight is an Airbus jet, it was supposed to fly from Alexandria to Cairo on Tuesday morning. The airline says four foreigners and the flight crew remain on board after negotiations.
9:40 a.m. - EgyptAir says that four foreigners and the flight crew remain onboard a hijacked flight.
The state carrier of Egypt made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter. It said the release came after negotiations with the unidentified hijacker of the flight.
Cyprus official says 56 people on board the hijacked EgyptAir plane have been released and have left the aircraft.
Egyptian aviation authority says the flight, coded MS181, is an Airbus jet. It earlier said there were 81 passengers on board and five crew members but there are conflicting reports on those figures. It was supposed to fly from Alexandria to Cairo on Tuesday morning.
No group has claimed responsibility for the hijacking.
9:15 a.m. - Egypt's aviation authority says the hijacker of the Egyptian airplane forced to fly to Cyprus has claimed to have an explosives belt on him.
This is a according to a statement from the authority on Tuesday. The explosives would suggest that the hijacker is an Islamic militant. Suicide belts have been a weapon of choice for Islamic militants in the Mideast.
The plane landed in Larnaca in Cyprus after which the hijackers allowed some women and children to leave.
8:30 a.m. - Egypt's civil aviation authority says an EgyptAir plane has been hijacked while flying from the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria to the capital, Cairo.
A Cypriot government official says the hijacked plane landed on Tuesday morning at the airport in Larnaka and that there are suspicions of a bomb on board.
A second Cypriot official says there "seems like there's more than one hijacker." He says there have been no demands other than that police vehicles move away from the aircraft.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.
The statement from the Egyptian aviation authority says the MS181 is an Airbus and that it has 55 passengers on board and five crew members.
Hadjicostis reported from Nicosia, Cyprus.
(Story by: The Associated Press)