Cao Guoxiong, second from right, is welcomed to Beijing airport by his workmates. Photo: Handout.
BEIJING: A frenzied passenger attempted to enter the cockpit of a Beijing-bound aircraft on Saturday before being subdued by a Chinese passenger and the flight captain.
The incident took place on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Beijing, according to news portal ThePaper.cn. There were more than 200 passengers on the flight.
The male passenger attempted to break open the cockpit door by running into it and kicking it. Although the man’s identity was not revealed, the report said he was about 6 feet tall and screamed in both Chinese and English when he made his run at the cockpit door.
After two flight attendants and two passengers failed to stop him, Cao Guoxiong, a Chinese passenger who is a bodybuilder, wrestled the man to the floor. The flight captain, after reassuring the other pilots in the cockpit, then came out and helped hold down the man.
The scuffle lasted for about 20 minutes before the captain managed to tie the hysterical man’s arms behind his back. The man almost broke loose multiple times,so Cao collected headphone cables from other passengers and further trussed up the man.
The plane was diverted to the Allama Lqbal International Airport in Pakistan where the man was arrested by police. The report said the man was recently fired from his job, but it did not give a source. Feeling suicidal, the report said, he had attempted to hijack the plane and crash it.
The plane safely landed in Beijing almost five hours later than scheduled at around 11pm on Saturday. Cao sustained some minor injuries including some scratches on his face.
Cao, who works for AVIC International, was warmly welcomed by his colleagues at the airport. He also received a thank you note from the flight captain.
Many social media users applauded Cao’s bravery, praising him as a hero in the sky. His colleagues revealed that Cao had been recovering from a fever when he helped subdue the hijacker. – South China Morning Post