Odd Eriksen

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Odd Eriksen (born 11 March 1955) is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party. In addition to his political career he gained national fame after stopping an Algerian hijacker from crashing a Kato Air-flight in 2004.


Eriksen was born in Sandnessjøen and grew up at Dønna. He started his working career in 1974 as an electrolysis operator at the Elkem aluminium works in Mosjøen. From 1986 to 1990 he was leader of the local trade union, among other things organising the strike during the lockout in 1986. Eriksen was a vice member of Parliament of Norway from 1989 to 1993, and again from 1993 to 2001. From 1993 to 1997 he was vice chairman of the Standing Committee on Defence. From 2003 to 2005 he was the counsellor of transport in Nordland County Municipality and chairman of the Labour Party's county chapter.

Eriksen was Minister of Trade and Industry in the Stoltenberg's Second Cabinet from 2005 to 2006. He resigned from his post on 29 September 2006, citing personal reasons and a wish to return to local politics.

Odd Eriksen became a national celebrity in 2004 after he and a fellow airline passenger stopped another passenger who had attacked the pilots of a Kato Air flight near Bodø with an axe. Eriksen himself broke his back in the fight, but managed to restrain the attacker while the badly injured pilots saved the plane from a nose dive, just 100 feet from hitting the ground. For his actions Eriksen, his fellow passenger and the pilots received the Polaris Award...
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