Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Plane diverted over 'abusive woman'

The Thomson Airways plane was diverted to Gatwick

A plane had to be diverted to Gatwick Airport last night after a woman allegedly unleashed a foul-mouthed tirade and threw her prosthetic leg at cabin crew.

A Sussex police spokesman said trouble kicked off when the woman, 48, began "swearing blue murder" and throwing food at staff on the Thomson Airlines flight 297.

The captain became so alarmed by her behaviour that he diverted the plane, which was flying from Enfidha in Tunisia and destined for Edinburgh, to Gatwick.

The woman, who is unemployed and from Edinburgh, was arrested by police at the North Terminal at 10.22pm last night.

She was taken to Crawley police station where she is being quizzed by officers on suspicion of using threatening behaviour.

In a statement, Sussex Police said: " At 10.22pm on Wednesday (30 July) a 48-year-old unemployed woman from Edinburgh was arrested at the North Terminal, Gatwick Airport, on suspicion of using threatening behaviour while aboard Thompson flight 297 from Tunisia to Edinburgh.

"The flight was diverted into Gatwick after it was alleged the woman had been abusive and had thrown a prosthetic leg and food at cabin crew."

A spokesman added: "She was swearing blue murder, saying she was going to do this and that and the other, so the flight was diverted to Gatwick."

But he refused to comment on reports the woman was drunk when the alleged attack took place.

In a statement, Thomson Airways said: " Thomson Airways would like to apologise to passengers for the diversion into Gatwick airport of flight TOM 297 travelling from Enfidha, Tunisia to Edinburgh on 30th July.

"Unfortunately a passenger became disruptive on board and as a last resort the captain decided to divert the flight to Gatwick. Upon landing, the aircraft was met by local police and the passenger was removed for questioning.

"We would like to reassure customers that their safety is our priority at all times. Thomson Airways operates a zero tolerance policy with regards to any disruptive behaviour on board and incidents of this type are extremely rare."

Fed-up passengers told of their anger at the mid-air meltdown on Twitter.

One passenger, using the name @asaprach, wrote: "S o my flight got diverted to London last night cause some drunk woman was throwing her fake leg about, fkn hate people."

Another user @sarahwilsonx wrote: " Can't believe were stuck in London because some crazy drunk woman with one leg started a bloody fight."

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