Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton Airport arrest as 'man tried to open aircraft door'

Luton Airport Image copyright Luton Airport
Image caption The incident happened on board a flight from Poland

A plane passenger was tackled by fellow travellers as he tried to open an emergency door on board a flight.

Police were called to London's Luton Airport shortly before 23:00 BST on Saturday to deal with a "disruptive passenger" on a flight from Poland.

He was prevented from opening the door by passengers who "wrestled him to the floor", a witness said.

He was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft, police said.

The incident happened on board Wizz Air flight W61005 from Katowice International Airport in southern Poland.

'Sat on him'

About 30 minutes before landing the man "walked from the front of the plane and sat next to a woman by the emergency exit over the wing", passenger David Salon said.

"Suddenly he lunged across her and tried to open the door. She was terrified.

"Luckily there were three big Polish men in the row behind and they and some other passengers wrestled him to the floor and sat on him," Mr Salon, 44 said.

Air crew then restrained his hands using seatbelts used in safety demonstrations.

Image copyright Luton Airport
Image caption The man was arrested at the airport when the flight landed

Mr Salon, originally from Poland but now working as a chef in Oxford, said the man was Polish and in his 20s.

He had been "acting weirdly on the bus on the way to the plane in Poland", he added.

Passengers were asked to remain on board once the flight landed until police had taken the suspect away.

Bedfordshire Police confirmed the arrested man was initially taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries and was now being questioned.

Wizz Air confirmed an incident had taken place on the flight, saying a passenger had "become unruly and abusive".

"The Wizz crew on duty followed standard procedures to ensure the continued safe operation of the flight. Upon landing, the passenger was handed over to the respective authorities," a spokeswoman said.

"Safety and security are the top priorities of the airline and there is zero tolerance for abusive behaviour towards our passengers and staff."

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