Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Terror as Crazed Man Tries to Open Jet Door; Passengers Tell of Their Ordeal on Flight from Majorca to Newcastle

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Terror as Crazed Man Tries to Open Jet Door; Passengers Tell of Their Ordeal on Flight from Majorca to Newcastle

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

DAZED holiday-makers today told of their midflight terror as a crazed passenger tried to open their plane's door at 36,000 feet.

There was panic on flight TOM1269 as travellers jetting home to Newcastle from Majorca had to help crew overpower a burly man who went berserk onboard the aircraft.

Horrified travellers looked on as the passenger attempted to throw open one of the emergency doors, shouting out that it did not matter because he was on a 'flight simulator'.

Geordie jet-setters had to help cabin crew restrain the heavily-built Ashington man and tie him up with seat-belts as the pilot hastily diverted to Gatwick Airport in London.

Today, after the 22-year-old was questioned by police on suspicion of endangering the safety of an aircraft, passengers told how the hair-raising drama unfolded.

A 28-year-old passenger, from Newcastle, who did not want to be named, said: "It was absolutely mental.

"Suddenly all the lights came on and all the air hostesses were shouting and we could see a lad trying to open the emergency door.

"The plane started shaking.

I thought it was going to go down.

"His friends tried to pull him away from the door and he started punching them and saying; 'It's OK we are just on a simulator'. He was off his head. Then this other guy came from nowhere and smacked him in the head."

The drama kicked-off about 45 minutes into the early morning flight from Palma Airport yesterday.

Lights in the cabin were dimmed and most passengers were either sleeping or eating breakfast when they were disturbed as cabin crew suddenly switched the lights on and began rushing up and down the plane.

With help from other passengers the air hostesses managed to restrain the passenger and wrestle him into a seat.

They then used around eight seat-belts to tie him up and the captain decided to make an emergency landing at Gatwick.

Children were crying and passengers were panicking as the plane made its sudden descent.

"The plane went down really quickly, it was quite a dodgy landing, " the passenger continued. …

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