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  Friday, October 30, 2020
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A woman who stabbed both pilots on board a 19-seater
A woman who stabbed both pilots on board a 19-seater New Zealand commuter plane and then threatened to detonate a bomb has been charged with hijacking, police said on Friday.

The incident took place on board a commercial flight between Blenheim and Christchurch, both on the country's South Island. The woman, 33, and originally from Somalia, reportedly demanded to be flown to Australia.

Neither pilots were seriously wounded in the attack and were able to disarm the hijacker when the plane encountered turbulence. The pilots then made a safe landing at Christchurch airport.

A subsequent police search of the plane failed to discover any explosives. The woman is now in custody and is set to appear at court in Christchurch on Saturday. As well as hijacking she has been charged with intent to cause injury.

The hijack attempt occurred at around 7:30 a.m. local time (6:30 p.m. GMT).

Christchurch airport was closed for over two hours as a security measure following the incident. The plane in question only has a curtain separating the passenger area from the cockpit and the Blenheim airport it took off from does not carry out routine security checks before take off.


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