TODAY   |  February 17, 2014

Co-pilot hijacks plane to Geneva, asks for asylum

The co-pilot of a plane en route from Ethiopia to Rome hijacked the flight to Geneva, telling the radio control tower he was afraid for his life in Ethiopia and asking for asylum. NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> rome when the co-pilot diverted the plane to switzerland telling a control tower in this reported recording his demands.

>> we need asylum or assistance.

>> police say the co-pilot afraid for his life in ethiopia hijacked the plane alone taking over the flight when the captain momentarily left the cockpit. the plane circled the airport several times seen here on this flight-tracking map. once the plane was secured in geneva, police escorted passengers off one by one. a police spokesman said at 6:10 a.m ., the co-pilot came out of the cockpit using a rope, surrounded by police and revealed he, himself was the hijacker. in a statement the airlines said all of the 202 passengers and crew onboard were unharmed.

>> now, despite this hijacking this morning, swiss officials do say the airport is back up and running. in fact, all operations have resumed as normal and all flights back on schedule. matt, savannah?

>> all right, thank you.

>>> let's turn to the action here in sochi now. and we're going into week two and some olympic dreams are being delayed.