Man Detained in Bejing Airport after Threatening to Hijack Plane

BEIJING (AP) -- A man was detained at Beijing's airport after threatening to hijack a plane bound for southern China, a state-run newspaper said Friday.

The man, identified only by his surname, Kan, boarded the Hainan Airlines flight to Guangzhou at 9 a.m. Thursday (0100 GMT) and asked the flight attendant several times how much fuel the plane was carrying, the Beijing Daily Messenger reported.

When the flight attendant refused to answer, the man said: ``You'd better ask someone because if I don't know how much fuel there is, I can't decide where to take the plane after I hijack it,'' according to the newspaper.

Airport police were notified of the threat and evacuated the 126 passengers on the plane as a precaution, the paper said.

A search of the plane yielded nothing and the flight was allowed to take off, it said.

Authorities said Kan, 47, was ``extremely excitable'' when he was questioned, the newspaper said. It did not give details on his motive.

The case was under further investigation, it said.

Previous hijackings in China have been committed by people seeking political asylum in Taiwan or fleeing financial and personal problems at home.

In July, an Air China flight from Beijing to the southern city of Changsha made an emergency landing after a passenger shouted that he wanted to hijack the plane to South Korea. The unarmed man was detained and the plane took off again.

Another man was detained in February for attempting to hijack an airplane to Taiwan while it was en route from Beijing to Fuzhou, a city in southeastern China. He was subdued after a brief struggle with security staff and the plane landed safely.

China, which suffered a string of airline hijackings in the mid-1990s, began placing security officers aboard flights as part of safety measures enacted after the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.