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NEW DETAILS: Co-pilot Hijacks plane to Switzerland
More details are emerging about the hijacking of an Ethiopian airlines passenger jet by its co-pilot.
Initially, we were told that the passengers on the Rome-bound flight
Were unaware of the threat until they landed in Switzerland.
But now they are telling a much different story.
Passengers say the co-pilot threatened to crash the plane as it circled over Geneva for 90 minutes as he waited for clearance to land.
Passengers on that hijacked Ethiopian airlines flight described a chaotic, tense and scary scene.
There was just yelling over the intercom put your masks on sit down
Jolene and Darin Shrock and their 5-year-old daughter were heading home from Ethiopia to Indiana
They said late in the flight the plane started to shake. But no one would tell the passengers what was happening.
It was a hijacking by the co-pilot!
31-year old Hailemedhin Abera allegedly wanted political asylum in Switzerland.
So when the pilot went to the bathroom - Abera locked him out of the cockpit
The lock on the door since 9/11 has a double edged effect to it.
Passengers said Abera threatened to crash the plane while the pilot tried to force his way back into the cockpit.
What we do in the United States at least is when a pilot goes out to use the facilities one of the flight attendants steps in, so it's kind of a no-alone zone. Apparently they are not following that all around the world.
Once the plane crossed into European airspace, Italian and French fighter jets were scrambled.
As the plane circled over Geneva, Abera warned they were running dangerously low on fuel.
Fuel remaining is now 20 minutes.
This cell phone video shows the moments after the plane finally landed.
Passengers deboarding with hands over their heads
Your attention please, this is a police operation. Please don't move.