Crew members of the hijacked EgyptAir plane recalled their seven hours ordeal of the incident.
At a press conference on Sunday, they said although the hijacker’s suicide vest turned out to be fake, they took the threat very seriously and all the time put the passengers’ safety above everything else.
“The most important issue for us was to secure the cockpit. It’s a red line to us so that the hijacker would not approach. The second was to guarantee that the passengers would not panic. And finally we must have considered the bomb as a real threat. We can’t take risks in our evaluation to this crisis,” Hazem Shahed, a security guard of EgyptAir said.
The hijacker, Seif El Din Mustafa, is a disturbed man by divorce from his wife and played out the suicide bombing incident, it has emerged.
The crew members said according to their training, they had two options — subdue the terrorist or negotiate, and they decided to negotiate while keeping in constant contact with the company headquarters.
“We tried to elongate the negotiations to the longest possible way. We were confident, and had trained on that before, so we knew that the long period of negotiations would put the hijacker under stress, mentally, psychologically and physically,” Tarek Zaki, chief of security of EgyptAir said.
“When the hijacker started to get tired, I knew we had him. For seven continuous hours he was talking and negotiating while standing in the galley at the back of the plane. He then wanted to sit down. That’s when I knew it was over. I told myself we are now safe,” Yasmine Sobol, flight attendant of EgyptAir said.
In the end, the Hijacker gave himself up and all the passengers were safe.