KRASNOYARSK, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — Police in the Krasnoyarsk territory detained a hooligan who had used a laser pointer to blind the crew of a landing Il-76 in late August. The young man was in a state of alcoholic intoxication at the time, regional police told Itar-Tass on Monday.
Police found a foreign-made laser point on the detainee, a 21-year-old unemployed resident of the village of Yelovaya. The device's range reaches six kilometers.
"The detainee said he had targeted the plane from one of the hills adjacent to the airport "Yemelyanovo."
Police have gathered the necessary evidence in the case, and are filing charges of administrative offense against the young man.
The incident occurred on August 30 night in the Yemelyanovo district of the Krasnoyarsk territory. The Il-76 plane belongs to the Aerostar company. It was en route Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - Krasnoyarsk - Yaroslavl. The aircraft landed safely.
There have been some 50 laser attacks on civil aircraft in Russia since the beginning of this year. The Rosaviatsiya air transport agency asked all the organizations and citizens not to point powerful laser devices at aircraft.
In early July, the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament drew a bill on criminal responsibility for "laser hooliganism." It will be punished by up to 3 years in prison or a 80,000-rouble fine.
An attempt to blind pilots is punishable by seven years in prison which may be increased to 10 years in the event of grave consequences.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov earlier noted that neither the government nor ministries had considered the issue of restrictions on sales of laser instruments in connection with laser-blinding cases.