AN eyewitness on an Edinburgh flight has told how the flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger threatened to “shoot everyone on the plane”.
The Edinburgh to Madeira flight landed nearly 600 miles from its destination in Lisbon after a man told the plane he had a gun during a row with a family in front of him.
Footage from the plane shows the aftermath of the incident as the man is confronted by the pilot and removed from the aircraft by police.
A passenger on the flight, who did not wish to be named, said: “It happened about two hours into the journey.
“The man got into an argument with a family of four in front of him – he was shouting at their teenage son. ”
During the row the man shouted “I’ve got a gun” and told the family he’d “shoot everyone on the plane”, at which point flight crew intervened.
The passenger added: “The boy was in tears and his mum was visibly upset. Flight staff moved the family away from him and obviously they had to tell the pilot.
“The man was clearly inebriated … he was swearing continuously and at one point he told everyone he was going to get off the plane while we were still in the sky.”
Soon after the incident the pilot announced the plane would be making an unscheduled landing “due to a passenger”.
An off-duty police officer who made himself known after the row sat near the man in a bid to calm him down as the plane began its descent.
The eyewitness continued: “Although it didn’t seem like a serious threat, the pilot obviously had to act.
“While everyone was angry at the passenger, everyone understood why we had to land.”
Once the plane arrived in Lisbon, two police officers boarded the aircraft and took the man away.
Although he put up little resistance, footage shows him bizarrely telling the pilot “this is your bus, these are you bags” as he is led from the aircraft.
A spokeswoman for easyJet apologised to passengers, but said the airline had no other choice but to land in Lisbon.
She said: “EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY6957 from Edinburgh to Funchal on August 1 diverted to Lisbon and was met by police due to a passenger behaving disruptively.
“EasyJet’s cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.
“Whilst such incidents are rare we take them very seriously, do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on board and always push for prosecution.
“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Original Source – Daily Record.