Hijack of Cypriot Plane Not Ruled Out - Army Spokesman

Politics | August 14, 2005, Sunday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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A spokesman for the Greek army chief of staff said as quoted by BBC that the possibility of hijacking the Cypriot plane could not immediately be ruled out.

A Cypriot passenger airliner carrying at least 121 people has crashed north-east of Athens, in the historic area of Marathon.

The Boeing 737 - from Helios Airways - hit a mountain as it approached Athens after one pilot was seen slumped in his seat and the other could not be seen.

The crash was reported by F-16 pilots sent to aid the struggling plane.

The head of air traffic control at Athens airport, Iannis Pantazaratos, told AFP the airport lost all contact with the plane which should have landed in the late morning. Then two air force planes sent up in reconaissance found it flying above the Euboea peninsula, but they saw the pilots doubled up in the cabin.

Helios Airways was founded in 1999 as Cyprus' first independent airline, BBC reminds.

It operates a fleet of Boeing 737 jets between Cyprus and London, Athens, Sofia, Dublin and Strasbourg in France.
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