An easyJet flight was plunged into chaos after a woman allegedly hit a man over the head with a carrier bag.
The flight from Dalaman, Turkey, was diverted on its route to Liverpool John Lennon airport and made an emergency landing in Venice after three people aboard the aircraft began behaving disruptively on Wednesday (October 4). Italian police met the aircraft when it landed, reports Liverpool Echo.
A spokesperson for the airline confirmed three people were removed from the plane by police. Some passengers claimed a man and a woman were arrested, but this has not been confirmed.
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Neil Houlker, from Nelson, Lancashire, was on the plane with his wife and daughter when the incident broke out. He said the unruly passengers had been shouting, swearing and drinking before all hell broke loose.
"We were at the front of the plane and they were at the back and the cabin crew had to keep coming to speak to them," he recalled. "It was just general disruption, shouting, swearing and drinking.
"There was a free seat behind us and a man was moved because of the disruption. The pilot had to do an announcement to say they would not tolerate any disruption."
Neil said he noticed the plane appeared to be descending, but when he asked airline staff if the plane was being diverted he was told they couldn't say.
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After a while the emergency landing was announced and passengers were told four Italian police officers would come onto the plane. At that point one of the wayward passengers, a woman, reportedly started shouting. Neil said a man who appeared to be travelling with her started protesting his innocence, claiming the disruption was the woman's fault.
"She hit him over the head with a carrier bag, I don't know if anything was in it," Neil added. "A bottle of vodka was also taken from them but there wasn't that much left.
"There were children onboard the plane who shouldn't have had to have seen that."
Following the emergency landing the flight took off again from Venice and continued its journey onto Liverpool, where it arrived about two and a half hours later than planned.
A spokesperson for the airline said: "easyJet can confirm that flight EZY3406 from Dalaman to Liverpool diverted to Venice where the aircraft was met by police due to three passengers behaving disruptively onboard. The flight then continued to Liverpool once the passengers were removed.
"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 and do not tolerate disruptive behaviour onboard. The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always easyJet's highest priority."
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