Unidentified persons have tried to blind with pen laser a pilot as he was landing passenger jet in the Russian southern city of Rostov-on-Don, local police spokesman Alexey Polyansky said on Sunday.
A young man who allegedly shone a laser pointer at landing aircraft was detained in Rostov-on-Don a week ago. Officers tracked down the man, born in 1989, as his neighbors saw he was shining green laser into the sky and called police. However, the youngster denied his guilt.
"The detainee has denied his involvement. During interrogation he named places where he [said he] had been at the time when blinding incidents took place. Police and Federal Security Service officers are now checking the report," Polyansky said.
In June the Russian air transport regulator Rosaviatsiya noted an increase in cases of pilots being blinded by laser pens during landing at Russian airports, with 30 such incidents registered this year. Only five cases were registered in 2010.
A draft stipulating long jail terms for hooligans who attempt to blind pilots and thwart air traffic has recently been introduced in the lower house of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma.