One man has been arrested after hijacking an EgyptAir flight MS181 from Alexandria, following several hours of tension at an airport in Cyprus. "It's over," a tweet from the Cypriot foreign ministry revealed early Tuesday. "The hijacker arrested." The flight initially took off from Alexandria but was diverted to Larnaca airport, CNN reports.
According to one passenger, the plane "took off as normal" but those onboard started to become aware of an issue after looking out the window to see the Mediterranean Sea. "The crew then went to each of the passengers telling them there was a hijacking and to hand over their passports," CNN's Ian Lee says. Though reports on the total number of passengers and crew originally aboard varies greatly, the initial reported figure was 81 total passengers.
With no reported casualties, the four-hour incident started to come to a conclusion when the hijacker agreed to release most of the passengers before ultimately exiting the aircraft and being detained. Initial reports that the hijacker made threats regarding an explosive belt, though widely reported, have not been confirmed by local authorities.
The hijacker, according to a report from CBS News, reportedly told the crew he wanted to go to Istanbul before being informed the plane didn’t have enough fuel to make it. The hijacker, whose identity name was initially reported incorrectly, reportedly "asked to meet with a representative of the European Union" but revealed nothing specific regarding motives. Following his arrest, local authorities have maintained that they do not believe the hijacking is terrorism-related.
This story is developing.