A plane is being diverted to the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea after a confirmed mid-air hijacking attempt with 111 people on board.
The Malta Airport has identified that the “unlawful interference” occurred on a Afriqiyah Airways A320 flight, and that emergency responders have been dispatched.
— CNN (@CNN) December 23, 2016
There are reportedly two hijackers on board the plane, which took off from Libya. The Malta prime minister Joseph Muscat tweeted, “Informed of potential hijack situation of a #Libya internal flight diverted to #Malta. Security and emergency operations standing by.”
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) December 23, 2016
Flight data indicates that the Afriqiyah Airways flight took off from Serbia with Tripoli as the intended destination before the disturbance. The Airport has updated its website to read, “MIA can confirm that there is an unlawful interference at the airport. All emergency teams have been dispatched to the site. Passengers are advised to follow www.maltairport.com for updates.”
This information is developing and we will update as more becomes known.
UPDATE 7:44 a.m. EST: Currently the airplane is sitting on a runway in Malta after the hijacking, though it is unclear at this time what the exact demands are of the two hijackers. Watch the newest report above from CNN.
UPDATE 8:08 a.m. EST: Multiple sources are stating that the hijackers are releasing their hostages.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 23, 2016
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) December 23, 2016
UPDATE 9:12 a.m. EST: All of the passengers have gotten off the plane. Some of the flight crew are reportedly still on board, however.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) December 23, 2016
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 23, 2016
UPDATE 9:57 a.m. EST: Reports are now suggesting that the final crew members are off the plane, and that the hijackers have given themselves up to the authorities.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says the hijackers surrendered and have been searched and taken into custody
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) December 23, 2016
— CNN International (@cnni) December 23, 2016
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) December 23, 2016
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