A passenger on board the hijacked EgyptAir flight has described the unique reactions he witnessed among his fellow travellers when they believed they could be killed during the ordeal.
As the plane was forced to divert from Cairo at the behest of hijacker Seif Eldin Mustafa, 58, many began calling loved ones for what they thought were their final goodbyes.
One rang his wife to reveal the existence of a secret bank account, while another woke up as the diverted jet approached Cyprus, asking: ‘Why Cyprus? I’ll miss my connection.’
Another man’s wife, apparently unconcerned about the fact her husband was a bomb hostage, forced him to repeat the details of his bank account several times.
The stories were retold by AbdAllah El Ashmawy, an orthopedic surgeon from Egypt who is based in Plymouth.
In a post on his Facebook page, he thanked all those who called and messaged him concerned about his safety.
Admitting it was a day he would ‘never forget’, he said it was a ‘very painful experience to be on a hijacked plane in the middle of the sea with a guy… who claims he has explosives’.
However, he also revealed that the reactions of his fellow passengers helped lighten the tense mood on board the plane.
He wrote: ‘Most of the people managed to stay calm, but as usual passengers on board made my day.
‘A lovely Egyptian chap decided to call all his family and friends one by one in the middle of the hijacked plane when we were about to land to Cyprus.
‘Another funny husband calling [sic] his wife to tell her about some money he was hiding in a bank and the funniest part is his wife forgetting about the hijack thing and asking him to repeat the bank name.
‘Another lovely guy was sleeping and woke up to be informed we are landing in Cyprus and his funny response was ‘why Cyprus??!..I will miss my connection.’