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Japanese Airline Hijacker Captured

July 23, 1999

TOKYO (AP) _ A man with a knife hijacked an All Nippon Airways jumbo jet Friday, fatally stabbing the pilot, a Transport Ministry official said.

The pilot overpowered the hijacker, and the plane returned to the Tokyo airport about an hour after it took off, officials said.

It was not clear when the pilot died or if he or a co-pilot landed the plane.

The pilot died from loss of blood, said ministry official Fumihiko Oinuma. The pilot’s identity was not immediately released, but NHK TV identified him as Naoyuki Nagashima, 51.

The pilot of Flight 61, carrying 503 passengers and 14 crew members, reported the hijacking shortly after takeoff from Haneda airport in Tokyo, said Transport Ministry official Hitoshi Ishiyama.

The man had entered the cockpit and threatened the crew with a kitchen knife, he said.

The man was captured inside the plane, although details were not immediately available, said ANA spokesman Hiroyuki Miyazawa.

The plane, bound for the northern island of Hokkaido, returned to Haneda and landed at about noon, officials said.

Shortly after the hijacking was reported, the plane was temporarily headed to Yokota Base, a U.S. military base near Tokyo, NHK said.

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