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24 Oct, 2008 11:50

Hijack of Sochi-Moscow flight averted

Police have arrested a man who reportedly threatened to blow up a passenger plane en route to Moscow from the southern Russian city of Sochi. The plane, a Sky Express Boeing 737 with 130 people onboard, has now arrived at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport.

The plane took off from Sochi’s Adler airport at 4pm Moscow time. Some 18 minutes after take-off one of the passengers passed a letter to the crew demanding to be flown to Vienna. He threatened to blow up the plane if his demand was not met.

According to a Russian secret service representative, the hijacker was immediately identified as 33-year-old Oleg Vasyanovich, who has been found guilty for murder and declared abnormal.

The aircraft crew decided not to change course and flew to Moscow.

The incident is now over and security officials have praised the professionalism of the crew.

Second incident in a month

This is the second such incident this month. Earlier, a Russian citizen, who's a resident of Turkey tried to hijack an Antalia to St. Petersburg flight, demanding to be flown to Strasbourg.

He was arrested, but no weapons or explosives were found to be in his possession.