Passengers on the flight which was forced to land in Istanbul because of a bomb threat are beginning to speak about their ordeal.
The suspect, believed to be a Ukrainian national, attempted to hijack the plane with 110 passengers en route from Kharkov in Ukraine to Turkey, and divert it to Sochi, where the Winter Olympics were underway.
However, the plane landed safely at Sabiha Gokcen airport, much to the relief to those on board.
Gokhan Yildirim, one of the freed passengers recounted the incident:
“He said that he had bomb on him, and a friend of his would explode it remotely if he was harmed.”
Another passenger, Mehmet Tutan, spoke of the moment they realised they weren’t in Russia.
“We thought we had landed in Sochi. We thought so for a long time. When we found out that there was a network (connection) on our mobile phones and we were able to call out, there was no roaming, we understood that we were not in Sochi.”
The incident comes at a time of high alert during the Sochi Olympics. Earlier this week US officials warned of the potential for ‘toothpaste’ bombs on flights.