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Pilots attacked on NZ flight

  • Story Highlights
  • Woman held after attack on pilots on Air New Zealand charter flight
  • Plane was flying between Christchurch and Blenheim on the South Island
  • Police say pilots received cuts from a knife but injuries were not serious
  • One passenger was also treated for minor injuries
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(CNN) -- A 33-year-old New Zealand woman was in police custody Friday after she allegedly attacked two pilots of an Air New Zealand charter plane during a flight from Blenheim to Christchurch on the South Island, authorities said.

Police Superintendent Dave Cliff said in a statement that both pilots received cuts, apparently from a knife, and were taken to a hospital for treatment. Neither was suffering from a life-threatening injury, he said.

The woman, who was not named, also claimed to have bombs on board the aircraft, Cliff said, adding that it was not yet known if that was the case. An Army bomb squad unit was called to check the plane, and the area around the aircraft was cordoned off until the search was complete.

The pilots issued a May Day call at about 7:40 a.m. Friday (6:40 p.m. GMT Thursday), Cliff said, and landed the plane about 25 minutes later at Christchurch Airport, where it was met by police with ambulance and fire support.

The plane's six remaining passengers disembarked through the rear of the plane and were taken away by police, who were questioning them about the incident. One of them suffered a minor injury and was treated on the scene.

After the pilots requested them, dog squad police boarded the plane and apprehended the suspect, who was believed to be from Blenheim. She was treated on the scene for a minor cut to her hand.

One of the pilots was cut on the hand, and the other "received a wound to the foot," Cliff said.

The Christchurch Airport, which was shut down after the mayday call came in, remained closed for about three hours. Some roadblocks were still in place around the airport, Cliff said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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