A hijacker described as mentally unstable seized an Iberia jet Tuesday, forcing the plane to land and holding more than 100 people hostage for four hours. He surrendered peacefully after talking to his psychiatrist.
The hijacker, identified by police as Javier Gomez, was unarmed. He brandished a television remote control device that he claimed could explode a bomb, the national news agency EFE reported.The Boeing 727 was carrying 131 people between Seville and Barcelona when it was diverted to the eastern city of Valencia. Seventeen children and one woman were released without incident about two hours later, Interior Ministry spokesman Juan Delgado said.
Gomez, whom officials described as unstable, was persuaded to give up by his psychiatrist, who spoke to him by cellular phone from Seville. Later, Gomez told police he had "short-circuited," Police Chief Juan Cotino said.
The hijacker at first asked to be flown to Athens, then said he wanted to go to Tel Aviv, Israel.