Axeman strikes on passenger plane

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The Independent Online

An Algerian asylum-seeker attacked two pilots and a passenger with an axe on an internal flight in Norway yesterday as the plane came in to land. The pilots landed the 18-seater aircraft after the attacker was overpowered by passengers.

An Algerian asylum-seeker attacked two pilots and a passenger with an axe on an internal flight in Norway yesterday as the plane came in to land. The pilots landed the 18-seater aircraft after the attacker was overpowered by passengers.

Passengers said the pilots had appeared to lose control as the plane approached the runway in the northern town of Bodoe. Irene Lokland, 45, who has three children, told the Norwegian news agency NTB that she saw the man walking toward the cockpit, and the plane began to roll.

Then she heard someone shout: "Come and help." She said: "For a few terrible moments, I thought I was going to die; I was picturing my three children in my mind."

Ms Lokland said two male passengers grabbed the attacker, then dragged him out of the cockpit. She said he was shouting and struggling as the plane touched down. The passengers held the man until police boarded and arrested a man in his 30s. He told them he was from Algeria.

The injured pilots and a passenger are in hospital with axe wounds. A hospital statement described the injuries as minor yesterday and said that the patients were being kept in intensive care as a precaution.

Another police official, Bjarte Walla, said it was unclear if the axe attack had been planned. "We don't know anything about a motive," he said.

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