A "very calm" gunman who seized a jetliner yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport suffered peacefully after holding hostages in a 10-hour standoff during which he demanded $3 million and threatened to blow up the aircraft, authorities said.
The end of the takeover was announced shortly after the last of the six hostages held aboard the Continental Airlines jet had escaped through a back door.
About 86 persons were aboard the Boeing 727 when the armed man boarded it shortly after 9:30 a.m., and all but six escaped immediately. No injuries were reported, and no shots were fired.
Four hostages came off at 1:15 p.m., and a Continental aide said the last passenger was released three hours later. About 8:15 p.m., flight attendant Barbara Sorenson, 35, of Chicago, who has been with the airline 13 years, apparently managed to escape through a rear door.
Immediately after the takeover, two FBI agents had boarded the jet to negotiate with the gunman, who took off a ski mask he had been wearing when he seized the aircraft. He was described as about 6 feet tall in his 40s with a European accent.
The cockpit crew had climbed from the cockpit on emergency ropes before the gunman could confront them.