Commercial airliner flying from Surgut to Moscow makes unplanned landing in Khanty-Mansiysk city after a passenger demanded the plane change course and land in Afghanistan, officials say.

It was not immediately clear if the passenger was armed.
It was not immediately clear if the passenger was armed. (Reuters Archive)

A passenger on a commercial airliner that was flying to Moscow from Siberia has been detained by law enforcement after he forced the plane to make an unplanned landing in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russian investigators said on Tuesday.

The passenger tried to break into the cockpit during the flight and demanded the plane change course and land in Afghanistan, they said in a statement. He was drunk, it added.

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that an unnamed man on the flight, bound from the Siberian city of Surgut to Moscow, ordered the crew to divert the plane to Afghanistan. 

Aeroflot flight SU 1515 instead landed in the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk about 230km to the west.

Conflicting reports

It was not immediately clear if the passenger was armed.

Initially, there were conflicting reports about the passenger, with some Russian news agencies saying he had managed to seize control of the plane.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies