Chinese bodybuilder subdues crazed man who tried to break into airplane cockpit

Cao Hongguo (third from left).
PHOTO: Shanghaiist

A Chinese bodybuilder has become an overnight hero after helping to restrain a violent man who had attempted to break into the cockpit of a plane.

Shanghaiist reported that Cao Hongguo was on an Ethiopian Airlines flight back to Beijing from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 18, when a man threw himself at the cockpit door, before pounding and kicking it.

While flight crew and fellow passengers were terrified, Cao, who had just taken some medicine for his cold, stepped forward and took it upon himself to subdue the man with the help of three others, reported The Paper.

Cao Hongguo (third from left) subdued a suicidal man who tried to break into the cockpit of the plane he was on.Photo: Internet

The man struggled violently, kicking and biting the men trying to restrain him. Despite Cao being a bodybuilder with a considerable amount of strength and stamina, it still took 20 minutes of vicious struggling before they managed to bind the man's hands.

However, the bindings proved no match for the crazed man, who managed to launch yet another flurry of kicks at Cao and the other men. Fearing for the other passengers' safety, Cao staunchly held the 1.8m-tall man down, though with great difficulty.

They eventually used passengers' headphone wires to fasten the man's restraints, before making an emergency landing at an airport in Lahore, Pakistan, where the man was taken into custody.

It was reported that the attacker had recently lost his job, was suicidal and had wanted to hijack and crash the airplane.

A video of the suspect was uploaded on YouTube by Pakistan newspaper Dawn.

When the plane landed in Beijing, five hours after its slated arrival time, the grateful flight captain handed Cao a letter to give to his boss. In the letter, the pilot explained what Cao did, and asked his employer to excuse him for turning up for work late and injured.

The letter from the grateful flight captain, to Cao's employer.Photo: Internet

Read also: Saudia pilot triggers false hijack alarm in Philippines

Cao's employer then shared the letter on social media, where it quickly went viral, earning him attention and praise from netizens.

"Anyone else would have done the same thing," Cao said later in a phone interview with The Paper.

pariel@sph.com.sg

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