January 22, 2019 / 1:09 PM / 3 months ago

Drunk Russian man detained after failed attempt to hijack plane

Police officers detain a man after failed attempt to hijack plane, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia January 22, 2019 in this image obtained from a social media on January 22, 2019. MAXIM TVERITNEV/via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A drunk Russian man who unsuccessfully tried to hijack an Aeroflot passenger flight was detained by police on Tuesday after the plane made an emergency landing in Siberia, Russian investigators said.

The passenger, who claimed he was armed, tried to break into the cockpit during the flight from the Siberian city of Surgut to Moscow and demanded that Aeroflot flight SU 1515 change course and fly to Afghanistan, Russian news agencies reported.

It later turned out he was bluffing and was not armed.

State television channel Rossiya-24 showed footage of masked security officers seizing the man on board the plane and leading him out with his hands behind his back.

“The passengers and crew members on board the aircraft disembarked safely and without injury,” Aeroflot said in a statement.

Drunken incidents involving passengers on commercial flights in Russia are fairly common, though it is unusual for them to result in flights being diverted.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal investigation into the man who faces potential charges of hijacking a plane while threatening to use violence.

The crime carries a jail sentence of between seven and 12 years.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Andrew Osborn; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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