Drunk passenger tries to divert Russian plane, forcing emergency landing

Moscow, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 22 January 2019, 11:37 PM
Russian plane SU1515 landed in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk about 230 kilometers to the west.
Russian plane SU1515 landed in the city of Khanty-Mansiysk about 230 kilometers to the west.

A drunk passenger on a Russian domestic flight demanded the plane change course, reportedly to fly to Afghanistan, forcing an emergency landing in Siberia on Tuesday.

The Aeroflot plane, travelling from Surgut in western Siberia to Moscow, landed in the nearby city Khanty-Mansiysk instead. Russia's Investigative Committee said the man - who was not identified - was "in a state of inebriation".

He was detained after the aircraft landed in Khanty-Mansiysk, some 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) east of Moscow. A criminal probe was opened into the incident, investigators said.

"Threatening that he had a weapon, he tried to break into the cockpit during the flight and demanded to change the course of the aircraft," investigators said in a statement.

"The aircraft commander made the decision to make a forced landing in Khanty-Mansiysk," the statement said.

Russian state media published a video apparently shot by a passenger showing the man being detained by several armed masked men inside the plane. The pilot is heard thanking passengers -- who appeared calm -- for their "understanding in the situation" to the sound of applause.

Investigators said that the man was a resident of Surgut previously convicted for damaging property.

First Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 07:04 PM
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