25 Apr 2011

Man attempts to hijack Italian plane

3:37 pm on 25 April 2011

A man has been overpowered by cabin crew on a flight from Paris to Rome after he drew out a small knife and demanded the plane divert to the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

A female flight attendant was slightly injured as the man was subdued. There were 131 people on the Alitalia plane.

The suspect from Kazakhstan was handed over to police and arrested after the flight landed at Fiumicino airport in Rome on Sunday.

A statement from the Italian airline says the man was "clearly agitated".

The man was overpowered by four crew and passengers, and given a sedative by a doctor who was travelling on the plane.

Italian police named the man as Valery Tolmachev, aged 48. He is reportedly a member of the Kazakh delegation at Unesco in Paris.