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EgyptAir Hijack Passengers' Revelations Make Flight MS181 Look Like The Strangest Journey Ever

From a secret bank account to anger over missed connections.

30/03/2016 15:42 | Updated 30 March 2016

 

Having your flight hijacked is fortunately not a common experience, but the pictures and revelations that have since emerged from EgyptAir flight MS181 have made it appear to be one of the oddest plane journeys ever.

The plane was hijacked on Tuesday by Seif El Din Mustafa.

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. 

But the hijacking itself wasn't the only bizarre aspect of the journey...

  • 1 A frozen chicken fiasco
    Nataliya Lukhanina via Getty Images
    AbdAllah El Ashmawy, a lecturer in orthopaedic surgery, says he was on board the plane while it was hijacked.

    In a post on Facebook, he said: “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”.
  • 2 A confused sleepyhead
    Meinzahn via Getty Images
    Ashmawy said that one passenger woke up and couldn't get his head around the fact that the plane would be diverted to Cyprus.

    He said: “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.”
  • 3 A secret bank account
    ColorBlind via Getty Images
    Ashmawy said that he heard a man calling his wife to tell her about some he had hidden away.

    He added: "The funniest part is his wife forgetting about the hijack thing and asking him to repeat the bank name."
  • 4 The man keeping everyone in the loop
    Westend61 via Getty Images
    Ashmawy said that one passenger proceeded to call what seemed like every person in his phonebook to let them know what was happening.

    He said: “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).
  • 5 The 'best selfie ever'
    Twitter
    British passenger Ben Innes asked if he could have a picture taken with Seif El Din Mustafa.

    The health and safety auditor told The Sun newspaper: “I’m not sure why I did it, I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity.”

    Innes said that if the bomb was real then he would have nothing to “lose”, so he “took a chance to get a closer look at it”.

Most of those on board were freed shortly after the plane landed at Cyprus' Larnaca airport 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. 

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