UPDATED: Ethiopian Airlines Flight 'Forced' to Geneva

By Associated Press | 

UPDATED 3:00 AM -- A Swiss official says that the co-pilot of the Ethiopian Airlines plane forced to land in Geneva took control of the aircraft while the pilot was in the bathroom and wanted to seek asylum in Switzerland.

Geneva airport chief executive Robert Deillon told reporters Monday that the co-pilot -- an Ethiopian man born in 1983 -- locked himself in the cockpit after taking control.

GENEVA (AP) -- Swiss police say the hijacker of an Ethiopian Airlines plane forced to land in Geneva has been arrested.

Police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brandt told The Associated Press that "the situation is under control" and nobody on the flight was injured.

Further details of the incident will be released at a news conference at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT).

Brandt says the airport remains closed.

-- Ethiopian Airlines says one of its planes destined for Rome has been "forced to proceed to Geneva."

The airline's website says the flight landed safely and "all passengers and crew are safe." It gives no further details.

Geneva police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brandt confirms that the plane made an unscheduled landing in the Swiss city at 6 a.m. Monday (0500 GMT).

He says authorities are checking the plane. He can't confirm reports that it had been hijacked.

Geneva airport spokesman Bertrand Staempfli says the airport has been temporarily closed and further details will be released at 9 a.m.

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