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Crazed man armed with fountain pen hijacks flight

April 17, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A sudden scream was the first indication anything was wrong when a berserk man brandishing a fountain pen took a flight attendant hostage and forced the flight to divert.

American folk musician Woody Guthrie once wrote the immortal lyric: “As through this world I’ve wandered, I’ve seen lots of funny men; Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain pen.”

On Air China’s flight 1350 to Beijing on Sunday, however, a mentally disturbed man carrying a fountain pen was not intent on robbery. He used his pen to bail up a flight attendant and order the plane to divert. While details are sketchy, the Beijing News said on its Weibo page that passengers described being woken by a scream coming from the front of the plane.

The disturbance occurred in the first or business class section.

A fountain pen, in a quieter situation

Although fountain pens are no longer common, they can have sharp nibs. Security personnel at airports do not usually search for fountain pens.

The flight was diverted to central China on Sunday. Authorities said all passengers and crew left the plane safely after an “illegal interference” on the flight from Hunan province to Beijing.

Police said the alleged hostage-taker, aged 41, had a history of mental illness. A sudden unspecified psychological disorder overcame him and he whipped out his fountain pen and seized the flight attendant.

Fredericksburg.com referred to a post by state broadcaster China Central Television on popular Chinese microblog Weibo.com, showing an image of what appeared to be paramilitary police in full combat gear assembled outside a Zhengzhou airport hotel immediately after the fountain pen incident – and another image of several ambulances.

Written by Peter Needham

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