EgyptAir has confirmed flight MS181 is “officially hijacked” after the plane landed at Larnaca airport, with the threat of a suicide belt on board.
Eight Britons and 10 Americans are reported to have been on board the aeroplane, which was a domestic Egyptian flight travelling from Alexandria to Cairo.
Negotiations have led to the release of many of the passengers, but four foreign nationals and the EgyptAir crew remain on board.
‘It’s all to do with a woman’
As authorities increasingly begin to dismiss that terrorism has any involvement with the hijacking, the Cypriot president has said: “It’s all to do with a woman.”
That woman is Marina Parashko, the supposed ex-wife of suspect Ibrahim Samaha.
It is claimed that she is on her way to the airport now, in keeping with the hijacker’s demands.
The estranged couple have four children together, it is claimed.
Hijacker ‘wanted to go to Istanbul’
The hijacker wanted to go to Istanbul, according to reports.
However the pilot – named Omar Al Jamal – refused, as there was not enough fuel.
As the initial flight was a domestic plane, it would not have been carrying enough fuel to make the longer journey towards Turkey.
Five more people freed from plane
At least five more people have been freed, according to reports.
It is understood that four “foreigners” and seven members of cabin crew were being held hostage.
We’ll bring you the latest as we have it.
Hijacker ‘wants letter to be given to his ex-wife’
More reports on this morning’s hijacking are indicating that the man wants the letter to be given to his ex-wife.
It is claimed that the woman lives in Larnaca.
These are unconfirmed reports.
Hijacker ‘throws letter outside plane written in Arabic’
The hijacker has thrown a letter outside the plane written in Arabic, according to reports.
It’s not clear if the letter is intended for police, containing a list of demands.
We know that he is 27, and from Egypt.
Unverified image of ‘hijacker’
An unverified image of the alleged hijacker has been shared on social media and unconfirmed media reports.
The identity of the hijacker has not been confirmed.
However reports say his name is Ibrahim Samaha.
|16:04|| Police and snipers seen running through the terminal
One passenger who is at the airport has shared this image.
She says that there are police and snipers running through the terminal.
Police have told the woman that there is a bomb on board.
Everything we know so far
Here’s what we know so far following the dramatic events this morning…
Hijacker named Ibrahim Samaha, according to reports
Authorities have identified a suspect, as we reported earlier.
The name is Ibrahim Samaha, but this has not been confirmed.
Reports indicate that the suspect has asked for a translator.
Israel scrambled warplanes in response to hijacking
Israel scrambled warplanes in its airspace as a precaution in response to the plane hijacking, according to an Israeli military source.
We know that four passengers are “foreign”.
All cabin crew have been kept on board by the hijackers.
Suspect ‘identified by authorities’
One of the hijackers has been identified by authorities.
EgyptAir has now clarified that there are four foreigners on board, alongside the cabin crew.
More as we have it.
Cabin crew and five ‘foreign’ passengers held by hijackers
EgyptAir has said that negotiations have resulted in all passengers being released, other than cabin crew and five “foreign” passengers.
The information was released on Twitter in Arabic.
It is understood that as well as eight British passengers being on the plane, there are 10 from the United States.
Pilot was threatened by hijacker with explosives
More in emerging on how the plane was hijacked.
The pilot of the plane was threatened by a passenger strapped with explosives, Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said.
His name is Omar al-Gammal.
Women and children begin leaving plane
Women and children have begun leaving the plane, according to reports.
Earlier it emerged that hijackers have told police to leave the area so women and children could get off the plane.
Some have been seen leaving with their luggage.
Hijacker has a suicide belt
Authorities have said that a hijacker has a suicide belt.
EgyptAir has confirmed that there are 81 passengers on board.
It is understood that negotiations are underway between the hijackers and the authorities.
All flights to Cyprus suspended
All flights to Cyprus have been suspended, authorities have announced.
There hijacking situation at the airport in ongoing.
Police have been told to leave the area by hijackers, reportedly so women and children can be let off the plane.
Police issue statement on hijacking
Police officers at the scene have spoken to The Cyprus Weekly.
It is understood that there is more than one hijacker on board the plane.
EgyptAir confirm hijacking
EgyptAir has now officially confirmed the hijacking.
A full statement will be issued shortly.
The flight number is MS181.
82 passengers on board
According to reports, there at 82 passengers on board.
There are also reports that there is a bomb on the plane, but this is yet to be confirmed.
Police told to ‘clear the area’ by hijackers
Reports continue to emerge from the scene.
It is being claimed that police have been told to clear the area so that women and children can be let off the plane.
The information has been shared by a former EU Commissioner.
|Here’s what we know so far on this breaking story…
We’ll bring you all the latest as we have it.
Egypt Air passenger plane is hijacked
A hijacked Egypt Air passenger plane has landed at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus, according to Cypriot media.
We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.
|Live updates possible via various media sources overseas, majorly The Mirror|