Posted on October 4, 2004

Axe Was Smuggled On Board

Aftenposten (Norway), Sep. 29

The 30-year-old man who attacked two pilots with an axe on a Kato Air flight from Narvik to Bodø on Wednesday smuggled the weapon on board, police said at an afternoon press conference. Original reports stated that the weapon used was an emergency axe stored on board the flight.

Police commissioner Tone Vangen in Salten told the press in Bodø that the eleven passengers on board the flight were under the impression that the man’s intent was to crash the plane.

Vangen said that none of the passengers had noticed anything unusual about the man before the incident.

“When he got up and went forward the passengers thought he wanted to make contact with the pilots. Instead he attacked them with an axe,” Vangen said.

Vangen said the plane nearly crashed during its approach to Bodø.

“We can be happy that it went as well as it did,” Vangen said. The plane went into a spin during the attack and the wounded pilots only regained control over the aircraft 30 meters above the ground.

When police searched the man they found a carpet knife in his inside pocket and a hunting knife was found in his baggage. Police originally believed he had used the plane’s emergency axe to attack the pilots, but a small hunting axe was used. The onboard axe was still in place.

The 30-year-old had recently had his application for asylum in Norway rejected and had been living in a reception center longer than legally allowed.

Vangen said the man was now receiving medical treatment.