SUVA, Fiji — Cabin crew members overpowered a hijacker who threatened to blow up their Air New Zealand jumbo jet with dynamite today at Nadi International Airport, airline officials said.
They said the pilot, co-pilot and chief engineer rushed the hijacker--an airport employee--while he was negotiating by radio with the control tower. No further details were immediately available.
The hijacker, a Fiji Indian, had said he had dynamite strapped to his body. He had released 24 crew members and all 105 passengers--most of them Japanese--shortly after seizing control of the Boeing 747, keeping only the three crewmen as hostages.
One airline official said the hijacker had demanded the release of the 11-member, Indian-dominated government of Timoci Bavadra, overthrown and put under house arrest in a coup last Thursday.
Another report said the hijacker had demanded to be flown to Libya, and a third report said he wanted to go to New Zealand.
The hijacker, identified by New Zealand authorities as airport employee Ali Ahmet, got aboard the 747 after it touched down on a flight from Japan en route to Auckland, New Zealand.