Air China Flight Diverted After Passenger Holds Flight Attendant Hostage

Mid-air scare Fountain pen wielding passenger forces emergency landing

An Air China flight was diverted Sunday after a male passenger brandishing a fountain pen held a crew member hostage, aviation authorities said.

The flight took off from Changsha, the capital of southern Hunan province at 8:40 a.m. and was expected to arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport by around 11 a.m., local media outlets reported.

"The incident was successfully dealt with by 1:17pm, and passengers and crew members are safe", according to a statement from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, which said a man used a pen as a threatening device.

It identified the man only by his surname, Xu (徐), and said he was 41 and from Anhua County in Hunan. However, China has been fighting growing dissent from a wide variety of groups including political, religious and regional breakaway factions.

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The flight made an unplanned landing at the Zhengzhou Xin Zheng International Airport, in the central Henan province at around 9:58 a.m., as per the earlier post on the Air China's official Weibo microblog.

The plane made an unscheduled landing in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou just before 10am for what the airline called "public safety reasons".

In a statement, the Civil Aviation Authority of China said that the plane was diverted after a passenger held a flight attendant hostage.

The Xiaoxiang Morning Herald quoted a passenger as saying that the problem was in first or business class. It said it was arranging for another plane to pick up the passengers from Zhengzhou.

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