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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

140 Italians, 11 Americans and 5 Nigerians onboard Ethiopian Airlines

The Ethiopian government has revealed that five Nigerians were among the 193 passengers on board the Rome-bound Ethiopian Airplane, Boeing 767 which was hijacked by the co-pilot on Monday.
The Ethiopian minister of information and communication, Redwan Hussein, who confirmed this during a news conference in Addis Ababa, said other passengers included 140 Italians, 11 Americans among others.
He apologised to the passengers for the “undue emotional stress and inconvenience they faced in the course of the hijack.”
He said the suspected hijacker, whose name was given as Hailemedihn Abera Tegegn, 31, was under custody pending investigation by authorities of the two countries.
According to him, the Ethiopian government and its Swiss counterpart are making efforts to expedite the travel of flight 702 passengers to their intended destination.
Hussein said the act of the said asylum seeking co-pilot was in violation of article 32 of the Ethiopian Constitution, which guaranteed the freedom of citizens to travel out of the country.
“It also represents a gross betrayal of trust that needlessly endangered the lives of the very passengers that a pilot is morally and professionally obliged to safeguard.”
He commended the Switzerland government for the care it provided for the passengers and the prompt apprehension of the suspect.
Hussein confirmed that the suspect allegedly locked the cockpit door when the pilot went to the toilet and hijacked the aircraft.
The official said that the suspect, who is seeking asylum from the Switzerland Government, was being questioned by the Swiss Police.

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