Hijacking description
Last updated: 24 November 2014
Status:
Date:Friday 8 December 1972
Type:Boeing 720-060B
Operator:Ethiopian Airlines
Registration: registration unknown
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 94
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:Addis Ababa (   Ethiopia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Addis Ababa-Haile Selassie I International Airport (ADD/HAAB), Ethiopia
Destination airport:Asmara International Airport (ASM/HAAY), Eritrea
Flightnumber: 708
Narrative:
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 708 was an international service from Addis Ababa (ADD) to Asmara, Athens, Rome and Paris. Some 13 minutes after departure five men and two women stood up, pulled out guns and began shouting orders in Amharic. Security guards opened fire and killed six of the hijackers. The seventh died in hospital. During the shooting one of the hijackers activated a grenade. One of the passengers picked up the grenade and lobbed it toward an unoccupied part of the passenger cabin. The grenade exploded, damaging an inboard engine as well as the plane's rudder controls. Smoke filled the cabin. The pilot returned to Addis Ababa for an emergency landing.
The hijackers were members of the Eritrean Liberation Front.


Classification:
Hijack
Hijacker(s) overpowered by occupants

Sources:
» Brief and Bloody (Time, Dec. 18, 1972)
» Aircraft hijackings and other criminal acts against civil aviation : statistics and narrative reports / FAA


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Addis Ababa-Haile Selassie I International Airport to Asmara International Airport as the crow flies is 698 km (437 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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