Man Hijacks Air France Plane
Mar. 02, 1999
PARIS (AP) _ An Air France plane carrying 75 passengers was forced to detour over Paris today after a man on board threatened to blow it up, officials said.
Most passengers were released, but Interior Minister officials said 11 people _ six passengers and five crew members _ were held on the aircraft.
Officials said they were negotiating with the hijacker, who they said claimed to have an explosive device.
The airline said the man was demanding to hold a news conference.
The plane, an Airbus A-320 coming from Marseille in southern France, had been due to land at Orly airport south of the capital.
But the hijacker insisted it head to Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, where the jet landed safely.
The hijacker was not identified, but was speaking Italian.
``I saw him at the front of the plane,'' one of the released passengers, Jean-Yves Lehuede, told television channel TF1. ``He was arguing with the flight attendants.''
Lehuede said the hijacker insisted that the passengers on the first row of the plane stay on board.