EgyptAir flight hijacked: Authorities announce hostage crisis 'over' after man filmed climbing from cockpit window

One man was filmed climbing out of the window, while others disembarked down the steps

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 29 March 2016 12:30 BST
An unidentified man was filmed escaping out of the plane's cockpit window as the hostage situation continued
An unidentified man was filmed escaping out of the plane's cockpit window as the hostage situation continued (BBC)

Authorities have said a hostage situation on a hijacked plane is "over" after a man was filmed climbing out of the cockpit window.

Footage showed him launching himself out of the small opening before using bars on the outside of the aircraft to lower himeslf safely to the ground, sparking speculation he was a crew member.

A live stream appeared to show three other men disembarking from EgyptAir flight 181 as it stood on the tarmac at Larnaca airport in Cyprus and being taken to safety by armed police.

EgyptAir plane forced to land in Cyprus with hostages on board

Minutes later, the Cyprus ministry of foreign affairs announced that the hostage crisis was over in a statement on Twitter. The hijacker has reportedly been detained.

A spokesperson for EgyptAir also confirmed the release of all hostages and the suspect's arrest.

Egyptian officials previously said seven people remained on board with the hijacker - the capitain, co-pilot, an air steward, security officer and three passengers.

The country's civil aviation minister said the assailant did not have a gun but claimed to be wearing a suicide belt, which could be fake. He said he could not confirm the suspect's identity.

Hossni Hassan, the director of Borg El Arab Airport, said there were originally 26 foreigners on board, including eight Americans, four Britons, four Dutch, two Belgians, a French national, an Italian, two Greeks and one Syrian, with three other foreigners unidentified.

The hijacking comes five months after a Russian aircraft crashed over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula minutes after it took off from Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

All 224 people on board were killed in the crash. Russia later said an explosive device brought down the aircraft after Isis claimed responsibility.

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