A British Airways A380 flight from Los Angeles to Heathrow diverted to Iceland after a man, reportedly a member of airline staff, tried to kill himself at 38,000 feet.
The airline did not confirm the identity of the man. He was variously referred to as a member of BA’s staff, as an off-duty cabin crew worker, as a passenger or, by the airline itself, as a “customer”. He is said to have tried to slit his wrists after locking himself in one of the toilets.
The incident happened on flight BA 282 from Los Angeles to London.
London’s Sun reported “horror on board the giant Airbus 380 when staff made the grisly discovery of their colleague”.
Not to be outdone, London’s Daily Mirror reported that the plane was “packed full of Hollywood executives who were on their way to Cannes Film Festival”.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Stan Rosenfield, a publicist who was on his way to promote client George Clooney’s film Money Monster.
Rosenfeld told the publication he heard a series of loud beeps, after which “all the flight attendants converged in the galley where the bathroom was and drew the curtain”.
The Sun quoted an anonymous British Airways worker saying its was “a terrible incident, everyone was upset. There was blood and tears. It was truly shocking”.
Rosenfield, along with other business-class customers, was interviewed by police as a potential witness after the plane touched down.
A BA spokesman said: “Our Los Angeles to Heathrow service was diverted to Iceland so that a customer could receive medical assistance.
“The customer was taken to a hospital locally and the flight continued to Heathrow after a two-hour delay.”
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Written by Peter Needham