The air crew and passengers of a local Chinese flight foiled a hijacking attempt in the far west Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, with at least seven people injured in the incident, the Chinese media reported on Saturday, referring to local police.
Six men tried to hijack Tianjin Airlines' flight GS7554 just 10 minutes after the plane with 92 passengers and 9 crewmembers took off from the Hotan Airport at 12:25 p.m. on Friday en route to the regional capital Urumqi, the media reported.
"All six of the hijackers were ethnically Uyghur, and they tried to break into the cockpit using a broken crutch as a weapon, but were overpowered by passengers and crew," the Global Times newspaper quoted Hou Hanmin, chief of the regional information office, as saying.
At least seven people were injured in the fight with the hijackers and the six suspects were now in police custody, Hou said, adding an investigation was ongoing and it was yet unclear whether the hijackers were part of a terrorist group.
The plane returned to Hotan after the suspects’ hijacking attempt was foiled.