Sunday, November 21, 2010

'Unruly' passenger forces Aussie plane diversion

SYDNEY: A Virgin Blue flight from Indonesia to Melbourne had to make an unplanned stop in northwestern Australia after a passenger became "unruly," the airline said Sunday.

The captain decided to land the aircraft at Broome in the early hours of Sunday morning after a man became disruptive and could not be calmed by staff, a Virgin spokeswoman said.

"The captain had a chat with him and it was determined that they would divert (the flight)," the spokeswoman said.

"On arrival in Broome he was handed over to police."

One passenger told ABC radio the man became so aggressive that "the pilot and the crew feared for the other passengers' safety."

"The staff onboard were trying to keep us calm while it was all happening because it was a pretty unusual and quite frightening circumstance," she said.

Police said the 40-year-old man appeared to have an undiagnosed mental condition and would be flown to Perth for medical treatment.

While his behaviour was "bizarre," a police spokesman said, the man had not threatened anyone on board the plane and he would not face criminal charges.


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