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WORLD : Passengers Seize Soviet Plane

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Air travelers frustrated by delays seized control of a jetliner and demanded to be flown home, but the plane could not land because of bad weather, a newspaper reported today.

The group was stranded for several days at an airport in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the Soviet Far East, and passengers became angry when the plane’s flight crew went home, Pravda reported. The travelers, led by a local official, forced a pilot to make the 300-mile flight to the Kuril island of Iturup.

But when the AN-24 plane approached the Iturup runway, it was unable to land because of the weather and returned to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Pravda said. The newspaper also noted that runways in the region are generally in poor condition.

The article did not say if the passengers were arrested.

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