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EgyptAir Hijack Passenger Reveals Fiasco Over Frozen Chicken Amid Flight Terror

"You let an explosive vest on board but don't allow my chicken!"

30/03/2016 11:57

Some truly bizarre details have emerged about the reactions of EgyptAir passengers when their plane was hijacked - including the revelation of hidden bank accounts and a dispute over a frozen chicken.

AbdAllah El Ashmawy, a lecturer in orthopaedic surgery, says he was on board flight MS181 when it was hijacked on Tuesday by Seif El Din Mustafa.

In a post on Facebook, he explained some of the reactions of his fellow passengers to discovering that their plane had been hijacked.

Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
People are seen leaving the plane after the hijacking

He said: "Most of the people managed to stay calm, but as usual passengers on board made my day.

"A lovely Egyptian chap decided to call all his family and friends one by one in the middle of the hijacked plane when we were about to land to Cyprus and in a very loud voice "I've been kidnapped Mohamed, I've been kidnapped Fatma, etc lol).

"Another funny husband calling his wife to tell her about some money he was hiding in a bank and the funniest part is his wife forgetting about the hijack thing and asking him to repeat the bank name haha.

Other
AbdAllah El Ashmawy's post (we have translated some portions into English)

"A third passenger managed to keep a frozen chicken (baladi as he says) all the way till they found it in his handbag while boarding on our last plane back to Cairo and he was so angry they are taking his [chicken] so the security guard, to end this funny discussion, told him they will put it in the fridge for him, leaving him shouting "you let an explosive vest on board but don't allow my chicken".

"Another lovely guy was sleeping and woke up to be informed we are landing in Cyprus and his funny response was "why Cyprus ??!..I will miss my connection"..what connection my son - we are all going to die hahah."

Ashmawy, whose Facebook profile says he is a specialist and assistant lecturer of orthopaedic surgery and traumatology, paid tribute to the professionalism of the cabin crew.

Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
The alleged hijacker is led away by police

 

He said: "Egypt airlines crew were really professional dealing with the situation and tried as much as possible to calm all the passengers, especially the ladies flight attendants who managed to keep a smile all through the flight.

"I can see one of them crying at her front seat but once she stands up again she keeps her smile just to calm people."

The EgyptAir plane was travelling from Alexandria to Cairo when it was forced to divert to Cyprus due to a man wearing what we now know was a fake suicide belt.

The plane was carrying at least 55 passengers, including 26 foreigners. EgyptAir initially reported that there were 81 people on board the flight.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
The flight's pilot Amr al-Jamal embraces a family member after arriving at Cairo international airport

Most of those on board were freed shortly after the plane landed at Larnaca airport on the Mediterranean island on Tuesday morning, but the hijacker held seven people hostage for a number of hours before the incident came to a peaceful conclusion.

The alleged hijacker was arrested minutes after some of those being held were seen walking down the stairs of the plane, with another escaping through a cockpit window before they were led away by security officers.

Officials said early on the hijacking was not an act of terrorism, and later that the man appeared to be psychologically unstable.

The man was said to have initially asked to speak with his Cypriot ex-wife, who police brought to the airport. 

  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, an Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir passenger plane the previous day and forced it to divert to Cyprus demanding to see his ex-wife, is brought by policeman to the court in Larnaca on March 30, 2016. The six-hour airport standoff ended peacefully. The hijacker, described by officials as 'unstable', had claimed to be wearing a bomb belt but no explosives were discovered after he gave himself up at Larnaca airport and was arrested. / AFP / GEORGE MICHAEL (Photo credit should read GEORGE MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa (C) forced the plane to divert to Cyprus demanding to see his ex-wife.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, an Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir passenger plane the previous day and forced it to divert to Cyprus demanding to see his ex-wife, flashes the 'V' for victory sign as he leaves the court in Larnaca in a police car on March 30, 2016. Mostafa was remanded into police custody for eight days during his first court appearance. Police told the court that 58-year-old Egyptian national faces possible charges of hijacking, kidnapping people with the aim of taking them to an unknown destination, reckless and threatening behaviour and offences that breach the anti-terror law. / AFP / GEORGE MICHAEL (Photo credit should read GEORGE MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A man thought to be the hijacker leaves the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A man thought to be the hijacker leaves the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man leaves the hijacked aircraft of EgyptAir from the pilot's window after landing at Larnaca airport.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man leaves the hijacked aircraft.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, run on the tarmac after leaving the plane.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, run on the tarmac after leaving the plane as the highjacker surrendered to security forces.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, run on the tarmac.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320 run on the tarmac.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    An official boards a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus.
  • FameFlynet.uk.com
    General View of EgyptAir flight from Alexandria's Burg Al-Arab airport to Cairo.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A policeman stands guard at Larnaca Airport.
  • Petros Karadjias/AP
    Cyprus police officers escort EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa, third right, to a court for 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. 
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac.
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac.
  • BEHROUZ MEHRI via Getty Images
    Cypriot policemen stand guard in the vicinity of Larnaca airport where an EgyptAir Airbus A-320 (R) sits on the tarmac.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A hijacked Egypt Air A320 airbus stands on the runway at Larnaca Airport.
  • Petros Karadjias/AP
    A passenger leaves a hijacked EgyptAir aircraft after landing at Larnaca Airport.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    Passengers and crew leave the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    Police stand guard at Larnaca Airport near a hijacked Egypt Air Airbus A320 , March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac of Larnaca aiport after it was hijacked.
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac of Larnaca aiport after it was hijacked.
  • FameFlynet.uk.com
    EgyptAir flight from Alexandria's Burg Al-Arab airport to Cairo was hijacked.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    An official telephones from the ramp of a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A police officer patrols outside the airport.
  • Splash News
    An Egypt air plane hijacked in Larnaca Cyprus.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    Media gather at Larnaca Airport.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A bus carrying some passengers from a hijacked EgyptAir aircraft drives by the plane at Larnaca Airport.
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