UI McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 ,
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Date:Friday 26 July 1996
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
Owner/operator:Iberia
Registration:
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 232
Aircraft damage: None
Category:UI
Location:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA) -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD/LEMD)
Destination airport:Havana-José Martí International Airport (HAV/MUHA)
Narrative:
Iberia Flight 6621 to Havana was hijacked about seven hours into the flight (and about two and one-half hours from Havana). The lone hijacker, seated in seat 8D, grabbed the arm of a male flight attendant and stated he wanted to speak to the Captain. The flight attendant had just brought a cup of water to this passenger, whom he described as looking pale and acting in a nervous manner. The hijacker told the flight attendant that he did not wish to go to Havana for fear he would be arrested once the aircraft landed in Cuba. As the flight attendant opened the cockpit door to brief the captain on this nervous passenger’s situation, the hijacker, who had followed the attendant to the front of the plane, pushed his way past the attendant and entered the cockpit. The 28-year-old hijacker was wearing a blue overcoat and was carrying what appeared to be a small knife and a black plastic rectangular box which he claimed was a bomb. The box, which was approximately the same size as a cigarette pack and about six inches in length, had a bare wire or cable protruding from one end. The hijacker later admitted that he had gone to the lavatory in the front of the aircraft at approximately 1350 hours to prepare the weapons for the hijacking. He used routine travel items from his dark blue carry-on bag to assemble the improvised knife and fake bomb. Later investigation revealed that the knife was actually one blade from a pair of scissors, four inches in length, with black electrical tape wrapped around the handle. The hoax improvised explosive device
was actually a black electric razor that was covered with aluminum foil and then wrapped with black electrical tape. Several pieces of black wire, which were visibly protruding from the device, were held in place with the tape. A total of two AA batteries, taken from a small Walkman-type cassette player in the hijacker's carry-on bag, were also taped to one end of the razor. The improvised knife and the fake bomb were the only weapons used during the hijacking.
The hijacker spoke to the captain in English and identified himself as a Palestinian who lives in Lebanon. The hijacker told the captain that he had a bomb. He also said that he did not wish to go to Cuba and asked the captain to fly him to the United States. The captain told the hijacker he could land the aircraft in Miami and the hijacker consented, saying that anywhere in the United States was okay. The captain then tried to persuade the hijacker to remain calm while the aircraft diverted to Miami. The hijacker remained in the cockpit for the duration of the incident. Negotiations with the hijacker began about twelve minutes before the aircraft began its descent into Miami and continued after the plane landed at Miami Airport at 15:00 hours. The hijacker surrendered at 15:27.

Sources:

Criminal Acts Against Civil Aviation 1996 / FAA, Office of Civil Aviation Security

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Revision history:

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