: BBC: Hijacker photo man Ben Innes explains Egyptair plane snap

17:09 Mar. 30, 2016

BBC: Hijacker photo man Ben Innes explains Egyptair plane snap

Egyptian police officers  walk their labrador  after inspecting it for explosives at the Cairo Airpor (Getty Images)

A man who posed for a picture with an alleged hijacker wearing a suspected suicide belt has said he was trying to get a better look at the device

The image of Ben Innes, grinning next to his captor on the Egyptair flight, has gone viral on social media.

Mr Innes, based in Aberdeen, also told he wanted to "stay cheerful in the face of adversity".

The alleged hijacker was arrested after a stand-off in Cyprus and the suicide belt was found to be fake.

Oil worker Mr Innes, who is originally from Leeds, was a passenger on the Airbus A320 on Tuesday when a man, named by Cypriot officials as Seif Eldin Mustafa, was said to have threatened to blow up the aircraft.

Read also EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo hijacked: spokeswoman

"I'm not sure why I did it - I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity."Mr Innes told

He said the photo, which was taken by a member of the cabin crew, was the "best selfie ever". 

The plane was carrying at least 55 passengers, including 26 foreigners, on an EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo.

Read also Hijacked Egyptian domestic plane lands safely in Cyprus

Most of those on board were freed shortly after the plane landed at Larnaca but the hijacker held seven people hostage before the incident came to a peaceful conclusion.

Mr Innes said part of his motivation was to find out more about the suspected explosive belt and whether it was fitted with a "dead man's trigger" that would detonate the device if the hijacker was incapacitated.

The alleged hijacker's motives were unclear but the Cypriot president said the incident was not terrorism-related. Full story

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