• Short Summary

    A GREEK DOCTOR WHO WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO YOUNG SONS HI-JACKED A GREEK AIRLINER AND FORCED THE PILOT AT GUN AND DAGGER POINT TO FLY TO ALBANIA, APOLOGISED LATER TO THE OTHER PASSENGERS. "I DID IT IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM TO SAVE A FAMILY OF FOUR" HE SAID.

  • Description

    A GREEK DOCTOR WHO WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO YOUNG SONS HI-JACKED A GREEK AIRLINER AND FORCED THE PILOT AT GUN AND DAGGER POINT TO FLY TO ALBANIA, APOLOGISED LATER TO THE OTHER PASSENGERS. "I DID IT IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM TO SAVE A FAMILY OF FOUR" HE SAID.

    THE PLANE, A DAKOTA OF OLYMPIC AIRWAYS, WITH 28 PASSENGERS AND A CREW OF THREE WAS ON A FLIGHT FROM ATHENS TO AGRINION AND IOANNIA, NEAR THE ALBANIAN BORDER, WHEN IT WAS HI-JACKED ON SUNDAY.

    IN HIS REPORT, THE CO-PILOT, MILTIADES HATZIYANNAKIS, 45, SAID THAT WHEN THEY WERE NEARING VALONA, SOUTHERN ALBANIA, AND ALMOST OUT OF FUEL, THREE RUSSIAN-BUILT MIG'S INTERCEPTED THEM. THEY MADE A FORCED LANDING IN A FIELD NEAR A DESERTED AIRSTRIP.

    THERE, DR. VASSILIOS TSIRONIS, AGED 40, AN OPPONENT OF THE GREEK GOVERNMENT, LEFT THE PLANE WITH HIS WIFE, BARBARA, 35, AND SONS PANAYOTIS, 12, AND CONSTANTINOS, 10.

    GREEK POLICE DESCRIBED DR. TSIRONIS AS A "LEFT WINGER". THEY SAID HE HAD BEEN JAILED IN THE PAST FOR INSULTING THE AUTHORITIES AND HAD BEEN IMPRISONED BY THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT. HE WAS ON THE LIST OF PEOPLE WHOSE EXIT FROM THE COUNTRY HAD BEEN BANNED.

    THE ALBANIANS AGREED TO LET THE DAKOTA WITH THE CREW AND REMAINING PASSENGERS RETURN TO GREECE, AFTER DIPLOMATIC STEPS BY THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT. GREECE HAS BEEN IN A STATE OF WAR WITH ALBANIA SINCE THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

    CO-PILOT HATZIYANNAKIS SAID THAT DR TSIRONIS HAD ENTERED THE PILOT'S CABIN 20 MINUTES AFTER THE TAKE-OFF, HOLDING A GERMAN REVOLVER AND HAD TOLD THEM "I AM TAKING OVER THE PLANE. DO NOT TOUCH ANY INSTRUMENT UNLESS YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU INTEND DOING. SWITCH OFF THE RADIO AND DO NOT ANYTHING FOOLISH."
    ONE PASSENGER, MRS POPI FOTIADIS, 45, WIFE OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL THEATRE, EVANGELOS FOTIADIS, SAID SHE SAW MRS TSIRONIS AND HER TWO SONS FOLLOW DR TSIRONIS INTO THE PILOT'S CABIN.

    "TSIRONIS AND HIS WIFE WERE ARMED WITH PISTOLS, WHILE THEIR TWO SONS WERE HOLDING KNIVES," SHE SAID. "HALF AN HOUR LATER WE REAL??? THEY HAD HI-JACKED THE PLANE. WE LEFT IANNIA BEHIND AND WERE HEADING FOR ALBANIA, THERE WERE SCENES OF PANIC AND SOME OF THE PASSENGERS WANTED TO JUMP OUT BY PARACHUTE." SHE ADDED THAT TSIRONIS WANTED TO GO TO ITALY. OUT AS THE PLANE DID TO HAVE ENOUGH FUEL THEY HEADED FOR ALBANIA.

    AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM ALBANIA, THE PLANE LANDED AT CORFU FOR REPAIRS BEFORE FLYING ON TO ATHENS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEE81AN8U7DNHCSISYTXR5S8BK
    Media URN:
    VLVAEE81AN8U7DNHCSISYTXR5S8BK
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    18/08/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:16:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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