Belgrade-based media reported earlier today that a Jordanian citizen with U.S. passport had attempted to break into the cockpit of a Lufthansa plane en route from Frankfurt to Belgrade, but passengers managed to put him under control.
Passengers quoted by Belgrade media said the man banged on a cockpit door threatening to bring down the plane while it was flying over Austria if he was not allowed inside.
All this happened in the skies 11.000 meters above Austria. Other passengers of the aircraft are able to stop the Jordanians, and the plane at 12.45 minutes landed safely at the airport Nikola Tesla in Belgrade. The crew of the aircraft flight control did not report the incident.
Right after the landing, Serbian police entered the plane and threw the Jordanian out, sending him immediately to the Belgrade police department, where he is currently being questioned by the police. Serbia’s public prosecutor on Sunday ordered the suspect into 48-hour pre-trial detention on the grounds of endangering public safety.
According to Serbian media unofficially, the passenger who caused the incident was Jordanian with last name Loken.
"There was no threat to the safety of the flight," the spokesman for German carrier said, adding that the man was arrested by Serbian police after the LH 1406 service landed on time in Belgrade.
Serbian police still have not released any official statement
According to Tabloid daily Kurir the man complained that he had lost his mind and wanted to take them all together with him to Allah. But in the interview to Tanjug (Serbian news agency), HC Vojvodina President Milan Djukic who was on the plane, told that his impression was that the man was psychologically unstable and that what he had done was not an attempted act of terrorism.
HC Vojvodina players prevent the incident on the plane
Passengers, including players of a Serbian handball team, said the man acted irrationally from the start of the flight.
"About halfway into the flight he tried to open a plane door, but the cabin crew stopped him," said the president of the Vojvodina handball team, Milan Djukic, adding that two players "guarded" the suspect for the rest of the flight while he was restrained in business class.
He said that during the flight, most of the passengers were unaware of the events happening in the front of the plane.
Sources / Local news portals:
- B92 (Serbian language)
- RTV (Serbian language)
- Kurir.rs (Serbian language)
- Blic.rs (English language)
- Tanjug.rs (English language - Serbian news agency)