The 247 passengers of the K.L.M. Dutch jumbo jet hijacked by Arab gunmen on Sunday?
GV Passengers arrive in Amsterdam
SCU KLM Official speaks to newsmen
SV Passengers prepare to leave
CU Flight board
GV Aircraft taxis away
KLM OFFICIAL: "What happened then is...well, I can only tell you what we have heard over the radio while the negotiations were going on. And it was indicated by the hijackers very clearly that at the end of this trip they intended to release the plane, to release the crew, to release the baggage, and to leave...to give everything in good condition to the proper people."
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K.L.M. Spokesman Mr. S. Orlandi described the end of the hijack drama. A transcript of his comments follows:
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The 247 passengers of the K.L.M. Dutch jumbo jet hijacked by Arab gunmen on Sunday (25 November) arrived in Amsterdam on Tuesday night (27 November) in two planes form Malta.
They included 170 Japanese tourists who stayed overnight in an hotel near Amsterdam's Schipol Airport before flying back to Tokyo on Wednesday (26 November) by the North Pole route.
In Dubai, the three hijackers surrendered the jumbo jet on Wednesday and freed the last 11 hostages they were holding in return for safe conduct guarantees.
Their surrender brought to a close one of the longest-running Middle-east hijack dramas, taking the KLM jet to five different airports in three days before the gunmen finally agreed to give up in the Gulf, oil state of Dubai.
The Arab hijackers and their hostages left the aircraft only a short time after it had bene refuelled at the gunmen's demand, apparently for another takeoff. But negotiations began again, and the hostages -- all KLM airline employees--finally walked free to a local hospital for medical checks.
The 247 passengers and eight air hostesses who were aboard when the plane was hijacked, were freed on Tuesday after the jet landed in Malta.
They returned to Amsterdam in two K.L.M. jets.
SYNOPSIS: The two-hundred-and-forty-seven passengers of the K.L.M. royal Dutch Airlines jumbo jet hijacked by Arab gunmen on Sunday, arrived in Amsterdam on Tuesday night in tow flights from Malta. They include 170 Japanese tourists who were returning to Tokyo when the jet was hijacked by three Palestinians over Iraq. After being held hostage form day-and-a-half, the passengers and eight air hostesses were freed on Tuesday after the jet landed in Malta.
The hijackers finally handed over the jet at Dubai on Wednesday and freed the last eleven hostages they were holding -- all K.L.M. employees -- in return for safe conduct guarantees. Their surrender brought a close one of the longest Middle East hijack dramas, taking the jumbo jet to five different airports in three days, as the Arab gunmen bargained with governments and airport authorities.
In Amsterdam, the Japanese passengers stayed overnight in an hotel near Schipol Airport, before flying back to Tokyo on Wednesday - via the North Pole route.