31 March 2016

Last 5 hostages on hijacked Egypt plane recall fear, photo

EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa flashes the victory sign as he leaves a court in a police car after a remand hearing as authorities investigate him on charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives and abduction in the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Mustafa described as "psychologically unstable" hijacked a flight Tuesday from Egypt to Cyprus and threatened to blow it up. His explosives turned out to be fake, and he surrendered with all passengers released unharmed after a bizarre six-hour standoff.
First the hijacker said the women could leave. All the children, too. Then the man in the suicide vest agreed that all Egyptians and others from Muslim backgrounds would be allowed to escape from the plane.

That left five Western men — at least one of whom thought they were about to die.
"We looked each other in the eyes and we said: Here we are. We're at the end of the line. It's over," recalled the Italian in the group, Andrea Banchetti, the day after an Egyptian man took control of a short EgyptAir flight to Cairo by donning a fake explosives belt and diverting it across the Mediterranean to Cyprus.