Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Passenger on KLM Abu Dhabi flight was 'screaming and hitting wildly' cabin crew say

American was involved in scuffle but did not appear to be drunk

KLM. Bloomberg
KLM. Bloomberg

An unruly passenger on a KLM aircraft from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam who sparked an alert that saw fighter jets scrambled to escort the plane to land had screamed and lashed out as cabin crew tried to restrain him.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf quoted a cabin crew member saying the man was involved in a scuffle with other passengers and crew members but did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Two Dutch air force F-16 fighter jets were called in to escort the KLM flight before the flight landed at Schiphol airport on Saturday.

“At first we got him back in his chair, but shortly after he started screaming and hitting wildly,” a flight attendant told the newspaper.

His behaviour alarmed and threatened other passengers, she said and they were unable to understand what sparked his outburst.

"His behaviour was very threatening from one moment to the next," the newspaper quoted her saying. Authorities described the passenger as “aggressive” and said the scuffle broke out on the KLM Airbus A330-200 over German airspace.

"A 29-year-old American man became aggressive after being asked by a purser to return to his seat," Joanna Helmonds, a spokesman for the Dutch police told AFP on Saturday.

"A scuffle broke out and the cabin crew, together with other passengers managed to restrain the man," she said.

Police said a few passengers were wounded and two received black eyes.

The man was arrested after the KLM flight was granted special clearance to immediately land at Schiphol airport.

Officers later said the passenger was disoriented and admitted to a psychiatric institution for observation.


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Updated: October 7, 2018 05:02 PM