Flight forced into emergency landing as man ‘threatens to stab people’ with knife

News

A flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger horrified a packed aircraft by reportedly threatening people with a box cutter.

Frontier Airlines Flight 1761 from Cincinnati to Tampa was diverted to Atlanta after the passenger was seen with the box cutter, spokesperson Jennifer De La Cruz told CNN in a statement.

Tia Morgan wrote on Twitter : “I’m at work and a flight gets diverted here from Cincinnati due to a passenger threatening everyone on the plane with a box cutter.”

Tim Turner, a spokesman for the Atlanta airport, said that the unnamed passenger had been threatening to stab passengers and crew members on the aeroplane.

The authorities found the box cutter on the man after he was in custody, Mr Turner said.

It was not immediately clear how the man had been able to get a box cutter onto the airplane as box cutters have been prohibited on airplanes since the huge airport security overhaul in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks when four domestic flights were commandeered by members of Al Qaeda wielding box cutters.

The man was taken into custody on Friday night and the flight landed safely in Atlanta.

There were no injuries to passengers or crew members, according to the airline.

A new flight was scheduled for Saturday morning to transport passengers from Atlanta to Tampa, Frontier Airlines said.

The news comes two months after Mississippi was put on red alert after a plane was hijacked and the pilot threatened to crash into a supermarket.

Police said the pilot was “threatening to intentionally crash into Wal Mart on West Main”, a large supermarket in the city of Tupelo.

After several hours of flying, the plane finally landed in a nearby field and its pilot was arrested, according to a Government source.

The suspect, who has been identified locally as Cory Patterson but has not been confirmed, is said to have written on his Facebook page: “Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone.”

A spokesman for Tupelo Police Department had said: “At approximately 5am TPD was notified a pilot of an airplane (possibly King Air type) was flying over Tupelo.

“The pilot has made contact with E911 and is threatening to intentionally crash into Walmart on West Main.

“Citizens are asked to avoid the area until an all clear is given. With the mobility of an aeroplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo.”