Air China flight diverted after man holds attendant hostage

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An Air China Ltd (中國國際航空) flight bound for Beijing was yesterday diverted to central China after a passenger held a flight attendant hostage using a pen as a weapon, authorities said.

"The incident was successfully dealt with by 1:17pm, and passengers and crew members are safe", according to a statement from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, which said a man used a pen as a threatening device.

Air China said in the post that the plane made the unplanned landing owing to public safety concerns and that the police and civil aviation authorities were taking care of the situation.

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The flight took off from the capital city-Changsha of the Southern Hunan province at around 8:40 a.m. and the flight was scheduled to land at the Beijing Capital International Airport at around 11 a.m., as per the reports of local media and flight tracking websites. It identified the man by only his surname, Xu, and said he was 41 and from Anhua, a county in Hunan.

After the landing, all passengers were evacuated to the terminal's hall, according to the Henan Province Airport Group, the airport's owner and operator.

The airline said police and aviation authorities were handling the matter and refused to provide further information. But in a spur of the moment, when one of its passenger threatened to harm the crew members, it immediately landed at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport. The passenger described seeing armed personnel in camouflage uniforms assembled in two or three rows.