Hostage tells of 'apologetic' captor

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2000, 12:00am

Hostage Ale Padam Kumari described yesterday how she almost fainted with terror during her ordeal aboard the Cathay Pacific jet on Monday night, saying she prayed the whole time. The man who took her captive was apologetic and even offered to swap her for another captive, Ms Kumari, 29, said as she recovered at her Yuen Long home.

Ms Kumari collapsed as she ran towards police surrounding the plane at the end of her 2.5-hour ordeal. As she recovered after being treated for shock in hospital, she said: 'I was so frightened I was only partly conscious most of the time. We didn't have much conversation.'

She described the gunman as being 'very panicky'. 'He told me: 'Don't worry. I'm not going to harm you. I just want to go home',' she recalled. 'He kept on repeating that. He also asked me 'are you okay?' many times and told me not to cry as I was sobbing and begging him to release me.' She said the man let her phone her office to try to find someone to take her place. 'He told me he came from somewhere to the north of Burma and was all alone here.'

Ms Kumari was treated at hospital for shock and was taken home by her husband. She has worked at the airport for a month.