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A Pegasus Airlines flight from Ukraine to Turkey landed safely after an alleged hijacker demanded the plane divert to Sochi, Russia, where the Olympic Winters Games were being held.
A Pegasus Airlines jet landed safely in Turkey on Friday after a passenger claimed there was a bomb aboard. Claims the passenger tried to hijack the flight and land it at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia were disputed.
The Turkish air force scrambled an F-16 to accompany the flight, which was flying 110 passengers from Ukraine to Turkey, Reuters reported.
“A Pegasus Airlines plane flying from Kharkov to Sabiha Gokcen landed at Sabiha Gokcen safely after receiving a bomb threat while in the air,” Turkish authorities told Reuters.
A high-ranking airline official said the man wanted to land in Russia, where the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Games were underway, according to CNN.
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“While the plane was in the air, one of the passengers said that there was a bomb on board and asked the plane to not land in Sabiha Gokcen (in Turkey) but rather to land in Sochi,” Transportation Ministry official Habip Soluk told the network’s Turkish affiliate.
The plane issued a hijacking alert, but landed without incident, CNN said.
However, another government official — who remained anonymous — told the Associated Press there was no proof the man wanted to land in Sochi.
The plane was diverted to a secure area of the Istanbul airport, where security teams were searching it for explosives.
The alleged hijacker was taken into custody, NBC reported.
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