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Man Fails To Hijack Russian Plane

Part of the fleet of Sky Express, Russia's first low-cost airline.
Sky Express
A passenger demanded that a Moscow-bound flight change course and fly to Vienna but the attempted hijacking was thwarted.

Russian news media say the hijacker — described in one report as having a history of mental illness — was overpowered by other passengers.

The ITAR-Tass news agency quotes a spokesman for Sky Express airline saying that a passenger demanded the plane change course about 20 minutes before it was due to land in Moscow.

The incident occurred while the plane with 130 people on board was en route from the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

CBS News in Moscow reports that the intended hijacker shouted "Allah Akbar!" and demanded the plane fly to Vienna.

It was not immediately clear whether the passenger tried to seize control of the plane or made any threats.

The Interfax news agency cited an unidentified law enforcement source as saying the passenger had threatened to blow up the plane.

After the plane landed at Vnukovo International Airport outside Moscow, CBS News reports that passengers have been evacuated, with no casualties. They will be kept at the airport for a while for interrogation

Russia's Federal Security service (FSB) said that the hijacker, who was arrested, has been identified as an insane individual with a prosecution record.

On Oct. 15, a drunken passenger claiming to have a bomb tried to hijack a Russia-bound Turkish Airlines flight, but passengers overpowered him and the plane landed safely in St. Petersburg.