Drunk Passenger Tries to Hijack Plane

ST. PETERSBURG -- A drunk man claiming to have a bomb tried to hijack a St. Petersburg-bound Turkish Airlines plane Wednesday, but fellow passengers overpowered him, officials said.

Police detained him after the plane from Antalya landed safely in St. Petersburg, prosecutor Alexander Bebenin told reporters at Pulkovo Airport.

Bebenin said the man had threatened to blow up the plane if his demands of diverting the flight to Strasbourg, France, were not met. Passengers overpowered him after he had handed a note to attendants with his demands, he said.

No explosives were found on the passenger or the plane, he said.

Bebenin said the man was a Russian citizen, but the head of Turkey's civil aviation authority, Ali Ariduru, said he was an Uzbek citizen.

Most of the 164 passengers aboard the flight were unaware of the hijack attempt and only found out upon emerging from the plane after a two-hour wait on the tarmac, Bebenin said.