DCSIMG

Drunk passenger attacked plane crew with false leg

File photo of a Thomson aircraft. Picture: Complimentary

File photo of a Thomson aircraft. Picture: Complimentary

  • by OLIVER NORTON
 

A FLIGHT between Tunisia and Scotland had to be diverted after a drunk passenger attacked cabin crew with her prosthetic leg.

The woman demanded “cigarettes and a parachute” and became aggressive when staff asked her to calm down.

Holidaymaker John Smith, from Falkirk, said the woman slapped a young girl in a neighbouring seat before unfastening her leg and swinging it at flight attendants.

The crew managed to put her in handcuffs while the pilot of Thomson flight 297 from Enfidha to Edinburgh made an emergency landing at Gatwick.

The woman was escorted from the plane by police, as passengers broke into a rendition of the hokey cokey. The incident happened at around 10pm on Wednesday.

Mr Smith said last night: “She was shouting ‘I want cigarettes’ and that she wanted a parachute to jump off the plane.

“She slapped a young girl and then assaulted the cabin crew with her prosthetic leg. They took it off her but she started kicking them with her good leg.

“It sounds funny, but it was not a laughing matter at the time. It was serious. She was totally drunk. It was shocking.”

Passengers said the woman had been involved in an argument at the resort in Tunisia, which escalated on the bus to the airport.

Waiting police officers escorted the woman off the plane at Gatwick and took statements from passengers.

Mr Smith, 48, added: “When police came on board to escort her off the plane, people started singing the hokey cokey.

“She embarrassed everybody on the flight. A lot of people were upset about it, especially those with children.

“We had to sit on the runway for about an hour while the police took statements.”

He said the flight had originally been due to arrive in Edinburgh at 11:30pm on Wednesday but eventually landed at 2:30am yesterday.

Twitter user @sarahwilsonx posted: “Can’t believe we’re stuck in London because some crazy drunk woman with one leg started a bloody fight.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “A 48-year-old unemployed woman from Edinburgh was arrested at Gatwick Airport, on suspicion of using threatening behaviour while aboard Thomson flight 297. The flight was diverted into Gatwick after it was alleged the woman had been abusive and had thrown a prosthetic leg and food at cabin crew. The woman is being interviewed and is currently in custody at Crawley police station.”

Mr Smith added: “A woman who was in the same hotel as her told me that she had kicked off on the bus transfer from hotel to airport. The bus driver even threatened to put her off the bus.

“She was disabled and the family had left her on her own. While they got a taxi, they let her stay on.”

A spokesman for Thomson Airways last night said: “We would like to apologise to passengers. Thomson Airways operates a zero tolerance policy with regards to any disruptive behaviour on board and incidents of this type are extremely rare.”

 

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