A suspected madman attacked cabin crew on a long-haul British Airways flight, screaming “I have a bomb and you’re all going to die”.
The bizarre and terrifying assault has been widely related in UK media, with British Virgin radio DJ Steve Penk describing the ordeal his daughter Natalie, 27, endured on the BA flight from London Heathrow to Dubai.
The frenzy and hubbub went on for 45 minutes, as four crewmembers and a passenger volunteer tackled the spitting ranter, restrained and handcuffed him, then covered him in a blanket as he screamed: “I have a bomb and you’re all going to die!”
In an email to her father, reported by London’s Daily Telegraph, Natalie said: “It was absolutely dreadful. I’ve never felt so scared in my life. All hell broke loose. He was restrained on the seats but was literally howling…”
She said the man was screaming “You’re trying to kill me, I’m going to die” but later switched to “I have a bomb” – and other threats, with an hour of the flight still to go.
“I’ve never been so relieved to get off a flight in my life,” Natalie Penk emailed.
She said hints of the drama began about two hours into the flight, when cabin crew were seen trying to calm the man, who appeared to be drunk.
After a period of quiet, he suddenly went berserk, running up and down the aisles, cursing, spitting and calling the cabin crew racist and fat.
After the flight landed in Dubai, BA said the matter was handed over to Dubai police. Presumably the perpetrator was handed over too.
BA stated: “Our customers and crews deserve to enjoy their flights, and not to suffer any form of abuse. This sort of behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated, and the appropriate action will always be taken.”
Written by Peter Needham