Flying the friendly skies has always been regarded as the safest way to travel. But are they really safe? Unpredictable hijacking stands front in such case. Such dire situations can be difficult for the crew, passengers and law enforcement to handle and may finally end with a terrifying climax. Here is the list of Top 10 aeroplane hijacks among the most terrifying in the history of air transportation.
El Al Flight 426 hijacking on July 23 1968 was considered as the biggest blemish in the history of El Al Airlines of Israel where the hijackers were identified as members of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). The plane was diverted to Algiers and all non-Israeli passengers were released shortly. As part of Israeli and Algerian government negotiations, all the remaining got released in exchange for 16 convicted Arab prisoners in around 40 days.
Lufthansa Flight 181 with 86 passengers and 5 crew members was hijacked by members of PFLP who called themselves “Command Martyr Halime” on 13th of October 1977. With the demand to release the imprisoned Red Army Faction leaders, hijackers diverted the plane to Rome, was stormed by the counter-terrorism group of West German, killed 2 hijackers and saved all 86 passengers.
On June 27 1976, Air France Flight 139 with 246 passengers and a crew of 12 got hijacked by two from PFLP and two from German Revolutionary Cells and was diverted to Benghazi of Libya. The hijackers demanded the release of 40 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel and 13 in other countries by giving life threats to the hostages. However, Operation Entebbe performed by the group of 100 Israeli commandos resulted in the death of 45 Ugandan soldiers, 1 Israeli Commando and 3 passengers and in the end 105 passengers were saved.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 653 scheduled to depart from Penang for Kuala Lumpur reported an unidentified hacker on board and crashed at Kampong Ladang while being diverted by hijackers to Singapore. The crash where 93 passengers and 7 crew members got killed was considered as the first fatal air crash of Malaysian Airlines, and the Japanese Red Army was suspected to be responsible for the hijacking.
Air India Flight 182 witnessed the deadliest aircraft bombing and deadliest terrorist attack involving an aeroplane, which resulted in the death of 329 people on board the flight. The plane got hijacked while flying over the Atlantic Ocean and got crashed due to the secretly planted bomb in the plane, and a Sikh Group residing in Canada is claimed to be responsible for the incident.
Pan Am Flight 73 was hijacked by 4 members of the Abu Nidal Organization during its departure from Karachi to Frankfurt on the ground which resulted in the death of 43 passengers. The flight purser Neerja Bhanot was awarded the Ashok Chakra for his efforts to help and save the passengers off the plane. The hijackers were attacked by the Pakistani forces and were sentenced to death.
Iraqi Airways Flight 163 hijacked by four members of Hezbollah was resisted by the Security personnel of Iraqi Personals which finally ended up in hand grenade explosion detonated in the passenger cabin causing the death of 60 passengers and 3 crew members. The pro-Iranian group “Islamic Jihad” claimed the responsibility immediately after the incident which was considered to be one of the deadliest hijackings ever.
The hijacking of the EgyptAir Flight 648 by the Palestinian members of Abu Nidal Organization is remembered as one of the bloodiest and most terrifying plane hijackings in the world. The Egyptian Security Service attacked the hijackers and firing from both sides resulted in plane puncturing. The commandos stormed the plane which resulted in the death of 56 out of 88 passengers and the hijackers released 11 passengers and 2 injured flight attendants.
The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was hijacked by 3 disorganized Ethiopians with a demand of seeking the political asylum in Australia. However the plane got crashed in the shallow waters during its journey towards the Comoros Island due to insufficient fuel that led to the death of 122 out of 172 passengers and crew members. The plane crashing video stunned the world and the incident is considered to be one of the deadliest plane hijackings in the world.
American Airlines Flight 11 & Flight 77 are remembered for the most terrifying aeroplane hijacking and attack on the Twin Towers of World Trade Center USA which led to the death of 3000 people and resulted in hundreds of injuries. The leader of al-Qaeda, Osama-bin-laden considered to be the mastermind of this dreadful attack hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 175 and Flight 93 crashed all these planes into the World Trade Center on purpose.