Home >News >World >EgyptAir plane hijack: Looking back at six major hijackings
An EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo in Egypt was hijacked on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters
An EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo in Egypt was hijacked on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

EgyptAir plane hijack: Looking back at six major hijackings

The EgyptAir flight incident is the first major hijacking in the last one year and a half. Here's a look at six earlier hijackings that made news.

EgyptAir flight MS181, an Airbus A320 carrying 81 passengers bound from Alexandria to Cairo, was taken over on Tuesday by a hijacker ‘wearing an explosives belt’. Apart from four foreigners and the crew members, all on board have been released.

Here’s a look at six earlier hijackings that made news:

1. The El Al Airlines (1968): The hijack took place in 1968 as three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) took over flight no 426 travelling from London to Rome and diverted it to Algiers which had declared war against Israel a year ago. Only the Israeli passengers that included 10 women and 2 children were held hostage only to be released a week later. Read more

2. Dawson’s Field Hijackings (1970): The PLFP extremists hijacked four planes simultaneously in one day and forced two to fly down to Dawson’s Field in the Jordanian desert as they held 56 people hostage including the Jewish passengers and the crew. Read more

3. Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 (1977): This particular case of hijacking still remains a mystery. Soon after departing from Penang for Kuala Lumpur, it was reported that a hijacker was aboard and that they were headed to Singapore. The plane crashed midway killing all 93 passengers and seven crew members. Read more

4. EgyptAir Flight 648 (1985): This one goes down as one of the bloodiest hijacks in history as the flight bound for Cairo from Athens was taken over by three Palestinian members of the Abu Nidal Organization leaving 59 dead and 32 wounded. After one of the hijackers was killed in a gun battle with an Egyptian Security Services member, the other terrorists started open firing on board and it ended in a plane crash. Read more

5. Pan Am Flight 73 (1986): During departure from Karachi, four members of the Abu Nidal Organization, dressed as airport security guards, hijacked the flight bound for Frankfurt. 20 passengers were killed by the hijackers but many lives were saved due to air-hostess Neerja Bhanot’s gallantry. Read more

6. Indian Airlines Flight 814 (1999): The flight flying from Nepal to Delhi was hijacked by Islamic extremist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen soon after it entered Indian airspace. After flying it to several locations, the flight landed in Kandahar which was then under Taliban rule where one passenger was stabbed to death and many others injured.

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