The 49 women and children released by Arab commandos who hijacked a Lufthansa Jumbo jet to Aden in South Yemen on Monday (21 February) arrived safely in Frankfurt on Wednesday (23 February) after brief stoops in Beirut and Athens.
GV & CU 727 Lufthansa jet taxiing at Frankfurt (2 shots)
GV Passengers down aircraft steps
SV Onlookers and newsmen
SV Other passengers with children down steps and towards terminal (6 shots)
GTV Passengers around airport bus
GV & SV Passengers off earlier aircraft at Beirut
SCU Woman holding baby speaks to newsman.
TRANSCRIPT: MRS. CUMMINS: "Absolutely terrified, I really was. I felt more frightened for the children, and specially terrified when they separated us from our husbands. They kept them separated. It was terrible because they had hand grenades and they all had guns, and they were knocking men on the head--you know--if they weren't doing what they were told and he (the baby) was hungry and they wouldn't let us go up to the front of the 'plane, and the (young girl) wanted to go to the toilet and they wouldn't let us move and it was very....I felt sick, you know, really sick inside."
Initials BB/0340 TA/PW/BB/0400
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The 49 women and children released by Arab commandos who hijacked a Lufthansa Jumbo jet to Aden in South Yemen on Monday (21 February) arrived safely in Frankfurt on Wednesday (23 February) after brief stoops in Beirut and Athens. The 127 male passengers--including 19-year-old Joseph Kennedy, sone of the late Senator Robert Kennedy--were scheduled to arrive in Frankfurt later on Wednesday evening.
When the women and children arrived in Beirut--tired after their nine-hour night flight from Aden--an Australian mother, Mrs. Ruth Cummins, told a reporter how she'd felt during the hijack.
The hijackers later released the jet's crew of 14 and surrendered to South Yemen authorities. The dramatic end to the hijacking came after two days of tension during which the hijackers planted explosives aboard the giant jet as it stood at Aden airport, and ordered refuelling operations without stating its destination. Negotiations involving West German and Yemen Government officials as well as Lufthansa board members finally convinced the hijackers to free their hostages and surrender.