Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

Man tries to open cabin door during British Airways flight to Saudi Arabia

The incident shocked passengers, who stopped him

A man who was suffering a panic attack tried to open the door of British Airways flight while the plane was airborne but was foiled by other passengers.  AFP
A man who was suffering a panic attack tried to open the door of British Airways flight while the plane was airborne but was foiled by other passengers.  AFP

A man who was suffering a panic attack tried to open the door of British Airways flight to Saudi Arabia while the plane was airborne but was stopped by other passengers on the flight.

The incident occurred on Monday evening on British Airways flight 263 from Heathrow to Riyadh, an hour before the aircraft was due to land in the Saudi Arabian capital, The Guardian reported.

During his panic attack, the man reportedly screamed “I want to get out”, while trying to pull the lever that opens the door at the back of the plane.

Several passengers quickly surrounded the man and restrained him before six flight attendants took over.

One of the passengers was Dean Whyte, the brother of professional boxer Dillian Whyte, the British paper reported.

“It was like something out of a movie," Mr Whyte said. "When I got there he was shouting ‘I want to get out’ in broken English.

"I managed to grab him and was preparing to slam him hard if necessary but myself and the steward could see he wasn’t quite right in the head, so I held him and tried to calm him down. Eventually it worked.”

The man took a few minutes to calm down before he was taken back to his seat and the aircraft landed as scheduled.

“Our cabin crew cared for a customer who suffered from a panic attack during the flight," a BA spokesman said.

"We are sorry for any concern this caused our customers.”

Updated: December 3, 2019 05:29 AM

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