Jordanian man subdued after tampering with plane door mid-flight
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Jordanian man subdued after tampering with plane door mid-flight

Serbian state-run television says suspect had US passport, tried to gain access to cockpit to ‘join Allah’

Illustrative: Lufthansa Airlines planes at the Frankfurt airport in Germany (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Illustrative: Lufthansa Airlines planes at the Frankfurt airport in Germany (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

BERLIN, Germany — Lufthansa crew and passengers overpowered a man who interfered with a cabin door on a Frankfurt-Belgrade flight on Sunday, the German carrier said, insisting the safety of the plane had not been threatened.

“A passenger got up and tried to do something at the door, but was stopped by crew members and other passengers,” said airline spokesman Andreas Bartels.

“The passenger was then restrained for the remainder of the flight in his seat and handed over to the authorities in Belgrade,” he said.

“It was a normal door, which of course cannot be opened in-flight… it was not the cockpit door,” he said. “The safety of the flight was not jeopardized and the flight landed safely in Belgrade.”

Bartels declined to provide information on the identity of the passenger or his nationality, or what he said during the incident.

Serbian state-run television reported that police had arrested a Jordanian man after he tried to force his way into the cockpit of the Lufthansa flight.

The man had suddenly got up during the flight, banged on the cockpit door and demanded to be allowed to enter, threatening to open one of the plane’s doors while it was flying over Austria, Serbia’s RTS television reported.

The man, whom Serb press said was called Laken and had a US passport, had cried out that he wished to join Allah along with all the passengers, RTS said.

He was overpowered by flight crew and members of a Serb handball team who subdued him until the flight landed in Belgrade where he was arrested, the report said.

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