North Korea’s Atrocities Likened To Nazi Horrors, A passenger jet flying from Ethiopia to Rome was hijacked early Monday by the co-pilot, who took control of the aircraft while the pilot was in the bathroom, diverted it to Switzerland and then fled out the cockpit window — into the hands of police, officials said.
Geneva airport chief executive Robert Deillon told reporters that the co-pilot — an Ethiopian who wanted to seek asylum in Switzerland — locked himself in the cockpit apparently while the plane was over Sudan.
One passenger told the Associated Press that the hijacker, identified as 31-year-old Hailemedhin Abera, threatened to crash the plane if the pilot didn’t stop pounding on the locked door.
At one point, the plane made a dive and oxygen masks fell from the ceiling, passengers told Italian media.
“It seemed like it was falling from the sky,” Diego Carpelli, 45, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“Someone in an intimidating tone said we should put on our oxygen masks.”
Once the plane carrying 200 passengers and crew was over Europe, military fighter jets were scrambled to accompany it. When the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 landed in Geneva, Abera fled through a window on a rope.