Man Stabs 2 People on Australian Jetliner


New Member
Man Stabs 2 People on Australian Jetliner

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - A would-be hijacker armed with wooden stakes stabbed two flight attendants as he tried to break into the pit of an Australian jetliner Thursday, apparently in an attempt to crash the plane, the government said.

Cabin crew and passengers on the domestic flight carrying 53 people overpowered and disarmed the man.

``We believe he was trying to take over the plane,'' Australian Federal Police agent Stephen Cato was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.

Federal Transport Minister John Anderson described the man as ``less than stable'' and said the attack did not appear linked to ism.

The attack, one of the worst in Australian aviation history, happened about 10 minutes after the Qantas flight took off from Melbourne for Launceston in the island state of Tasmania.

The Boeing 717 was forced to return to Melbourne, where police arrested the 40-year-old man, who reportedly is Australian. The injured flight attendants, a man in his 30s and a woman in her 20s, were hospitalized in stable condition.

Cato said no motive had been established.

Australia, a close ally of the United States, is currently on a heightened level of alert in the aftermath of the Iraq war, in which it took part with American forces.

Anderson said the man seemed intent on trying to crash the plane.

The man shouted threats as he attempted to storm the locked pit, authorities said. Anderson said there were no sky marshals on board.

Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said the man, armed with two 6-inch stakes, emerged from the seventh row and tried to pass some cabin crew members on his way to the pit shouting threats. He stabbed them as they tried to push him back toward the rear of the plane, authorities said.

``He never got to the pit,'' Dixon said. He said the door was of standard design, and not a reinforced security . However, it was locked during the flight.

The male attendant had a gash in the back of his head and other cuts. The woman had facial cuts, Dixon said. Two passengers also were slightly injured as they and the crew restrained the man and bound his hands with plastic straps.

The transport minister said the wooden weapons had gone through security checks unnoticed, calling the oversight a ``lesson about unforeseen tools being used.''

``We'll leave no stone unturned; plainly we don't want to see a repeat of this,'' Anderson said.

Passengers praised the male flight attendant, whose name has not been released, for trying to subdue the attacker after he was stabbed in the back of his head.

``The steward had a lot of on the back of his neck. He was good, very good, very brave,'' passenger Joe Da Costa said. ``The steward tried to confront (the man) and that's why he got stabbed.''

Passenger Keith Charlton was among six passengers who helped bring down the man.

He said he was seated in the third row when a man in a ``brown suit raced past me with his hands raised in the air'' before attacking the attendants.

It was too soon to say what charges the suspect might face, police spokeswoman Jane O'Brien said. His name would be released after charges are filed, she said.

05/29/03 12:28

© Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
What a stupid moron!!! He mustn't be an Australian...can't be.....I mean us Australians are a little crazy I do admit, but not crazy enough to do something so stupid like our idiotic friend Jacko..

The thing that sux now is Qantas Airways and the whole Australian aviation industry is going to be affected even more by what has happened (just what they/it needed along with SARS and everything!!).

Last time I flew out of Kingsford Smith Intl. in September last year I remember the security was pretty tight then. I can't even begin to imagine how tight it will become now! Maybe they might even start strip searching people. Who knows!!!

The first aircraft I ever flew on was the Boeing 717 that was owned by Impulse Airlines which is now Qantas Link.. Must say it's quite a neat little aircraft to fly on..

This is why I'm sure that something like 9/11 would never happen again. You've got an airplane full of people who will stop at nothing to see those who would threaten the safety of flight dead in a pool of their own blood.
Yeah a friend of mine toured all over the US and didn't get stopped once, first airport back in Aus he has ALL his baggage of 4 months opened and inspected, took well over an hour, what bs that is.
You mean to tell me the passengers didn't mort the bastard??? Attempted air piracy should be included in the list of justifiable homicides.