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Archive for Friday, August 11, 2006

Fight on airplane sparks hijacking scare

August 11, 2006

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— A fight between a passenger and flight attendants on a Qatar Airways plane sparked a hijacking scare Thursday, prompting the plane to return to Amman on a day of tensions on flights after a foiled terror plot in Britain.

Initial reports from airport security officials and an airline spokesman said the man, identified as an Eritrean, tried to force his way into the cockpit carrying a canister that the officials said contained a liquid.

But Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Judeh told The Associated Press that it "was a quarrel and not a hijacking attempt" and that the liquid was medicine.

The Eritrean man had tried to go to a bathroom 10 minutes after the flight took off from Amman for the Qatari capital, Doha, Judeh said.

When the attendants told the passenger he could not leave his seat, he pushed an attendant to the ground before others re-strained him, Judeh said. The pilot returned the plane to Amman, where the man was detained.

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