Saturday, August 22, 2015

Overpowering hijackers

A heavily armed man has been overpowered by passengers on a high speed train Amasterdam-Paris. 

Soon after 9/11 I wrote to Government suggesting that they should advocate this policy as routine. 0

The reason went like this:
The best chance of survival for people on board a hijacked airliner is to overpower the hijackers, and to do so instantly, as a reflex. This is a risky procedure: some of the passengers and crew could get hurt, and in the event that the hijacker has smuggled a bomb or gun aboard, past the detectors, the plane could be blown apart. Even given these risks, the chances are better, and the agony of anticipation is less, than the alternative option of sitting obediently to await the fate that crazed individuals, or the State in whose airspace the plane is flying, may hand out. 
Airlines should add to the emergency drill " . . . Your lifejacket is under the seat . . . And finally, if someone tries to hijack this aircraft, would all able bodied passengers please act together to overpower them immediately." (See Airline Security here)

After consideration, Government wrote back turning down the idea on grounds of Health and Safely. Someone might get injured (as indeed happened on the Paris train) and could end up taking Government to court. 

It's great living in a world where lawyers have the final say in all matters.

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