The hijackers surrendered after receiving assurances that a statement on their demands for Croatian independence had appeared in four major U.
The hijackers surrendered after receiving assurances that a statement on their demands for Croatian independence had appeared in four major U.S. newspapers. Croatia is a constituent republic of the Communist governed Yugoslav Federation and for many years -- according to Reuters News Agency -- various Croatian groups have been campaigning for an independent Croatia. The Croatian group onboard the Boeing 727 said one of their major aims was to gain publicity for their cause. And during the hijack, leaflets were showered on London and Paris by the hijackers and an escorting Boeing 707. The Boeing 707 was used to guide the hijacked aircraft across the Atlantic because it did not have the type of radar equipment required for such a flight.
Five Croatian separatists who hijacked a Trans World Airlines Boeing 727 surrendered at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris on Sunday (12 September) releasing all 51 hostages onboard. The whirlwind hijack trip took the plane to France from New York via stops in Canada and Iceland in a bid to publicise the cause of Croatian independence from Yugoslavia.
SYNOPSIS: The hijackers gave themselves up after an inter-continental drama that lasted over 30 hours. Soon after their surrender, the hijackers were on a French military plane which was flying to New York where they were to be handed over to United States authorities. The Boeing was seized shortly after taking off on Friday night (10 September) on an internal flight to Chicago.
Reaction to the hijackers behaviour varied among the passengers. Some said they were polite and helpful. Others, like Roman Catholic Bishop Edward O'Rourke from Illinois told a different story.
As thing turned out the explosives were fakes. However, one bomb connected with the hijack - to which police in New York were guided by a message from the separatists - exploded at a disposal site. It killed one policeman and seriously injured three others. The pilot of the hijacked aircraft, Captain Richard Carey had little to say to reporters.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Paris said later that the hijackers would all face charges of air piracy on their arrival in New York.