Cao Hongguo (third from the left).
A Chinese passenger is being hailed as a hero after helping to subdue a crazed man who tried to break into the cockpit on a flight bound for Beijing on Saturday.
The unidentified man desperately threw himself at the cockpit door on an Ethiopian Airlines flight which took off from Addis Ababa with more than 200 passengers aboard, frantically pounding the door with his hands, and kicking it with his feet.
Crew members and fellow passengers tried to get the man to stop, but were too frightened to confront him. That’s when Cao Hongguo, a bodybuilder, stepped forward and wrestled the man to the floor.
The flight captain soon arrived and helped Cao pin the man to the floor, but a vicious 20-minute long struggle ensued in which they desperately tried to tie the hysterical man’s arms behind his back. Even with his arms tied, the man still struggled to break free, so Cao went around gathering up headphones from passengers to add to the constraints.
The plane was forced to make an emergency landing at an airport in Lahore, Pakistan where the man was taken into custody. The Paper reports that the man had become suicidal after losing his job, and wanted to take everyone else with him by crashing the plane.
While the identity and nationality of the man has not been reported. The Paper reports that he yelled in both Chinese and English while trying to break open the cockpit door. On Saturday, the English-language Pakistani paper Dawn published this video of the suspect:
The plane finally landed in Beijing at 11 p.m. on Saturday evening, about five hours after it was supposed to. Cao sustained some minor injuries to his head in the fray. He had already been suffering from a high fever when he decided to intervene.
Cao works for AVIC International, a state-owned aerospace and defense company, and had been on a business trip to Kenya. His employer quickly made everyone aware of Cao’s heroism by posting a thank you letter that the flight captain had given to Cao onto social media where he has since been praised for his deeds.
“Anyone else would have done the same thing,” Cao told The Paper while taking a train to see his wife who was in a hospital preparing to give birth, adding that he hoped that his family would not learn about what he had done, because it would just cause them to worry about him.
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