Russian Plane Diversion Latest: Passenger Demands Aeroflot 737 Be Diverted to Afghanistan

An Airbus A320 belonging to the Russian company Aeroflot prepares to take off on September 26, 2017 from Toulouse-Blagnac airport in southwestern France. A passenger reportedly tried to divert a plane from the national carrier to Afghanistan. PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images

A passenger on board a flight to Moscow demanded that the plane be diverted to Afghanistan before it ended up landing safely in a city in Siberia, it was reported.

The Aeroflot SU1515 flight had left the city of Surgut in the Khanty-Mansi region 1pm local time bound for Moscow on Tuesday afternoon with 69 passengers and seven crew members on board.

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One of the passengers demanded that the Boeing 737-8LJ be turned around and flown to Afghanistan, state agency Interfax reported, quoting air traffic control sources.

The Flight Radar service showed the route of the plane changing. Later Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee confirmed that the plane landed in the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk.

There are conflicting reports but state news agency Interfax reported the man responsible was thought to be a 41 years old Russian citizen who may have been mentally unstable.

One aviation source told RIA Novosti that the cabin crew persuaded the man that the plane needed to refuel in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Kommersant reported that the plane was stormed by law enforcement officials and the man was detained. Svetlana Petrenko from Russia's Investigative Committee said that man was drunk and said that he had a weapon which he would use to break into the cockpit.

"The aircraft commander decided to make an emergency landing in Khanty-Mansiysk.

"A man was arrested; he turned out to be a resident of Surgut, who had previously been convicted of damage to property. An investigative team is working at the scene of the incident, to establish all the circumstances of the incident," she said, according to the newspaper.

This story has been updated.