Video Credit: AsiaWire
This is the moment cabin crew struggle with a screaming male passenger who tried to open the plane’s emergency door mid-flight and repeatedly struck a window with his mobile phone.
The incident happened aboard Fuzhou Airlines Flight 6509 on 20th May, minutes before the Boeing 737 was to land at Kunming Changshui International Airport in south-western China’s Yunnan Province.
According to flight security officer Zhao Wenhui, the male passenger around 50 years of age, who had a bloodstained blue top, stood up and approached cabin crew about 40 minutes before landing.
Pictures Credit: AsiaWire
He requested they help him call his family and grew increasingly agitated as his request was repeatedly denied.
Flight attendant Cao Xinyue recalled: “After that the man started pacing back and forth saying: ‘I want to parachute!’ and kept saying he wanted to call his family.
“He tried to make a call on his phone but asked us to do it when his phone didn’t work.”
The passenger assigned to seat 31C was moved to 60J and accompanied by flight security officer Zhao, who tried to keep him calm but chatting with him.
However, 10 minutes before landing he allegedly sprung from his seat and tried to open emergency door R1, according to a statement by the airline.
Footage from the cabin shows the passenger then striking the plane window with his mobile phone, prompting Zhao, his colleagues and even passengers to subdue him.
Terrified passengers can be heard shouting: “What’s going on?” as the mid-flight tussle takes place in the front row.
Flight attendant Lu Wenchao can be seen joining the struggle and being gripped in the face by the screaming male passenger who is eventually pinned to his seat.
The group held him down until the plane landed safely, after which he was handed over to Kunming airport police.
Flight attendant Lu said: He tried to gouge my eyes. I’m taller than him so he didn’t manage to reach, but my ear and nose were hurt and bleeding.”
Flight security office Zhao, who spent two years with China’s special forces task force known as the Snow Leopard Commando Unit, said he noticed the passenger acting erratically as well as he boarded the plane.
Fuzhou Airlines, which confirmed no other passengers were hurt, said Kunming authorities found the passenger to have been suffering from an unspecified mental illness.
They have released him without charge back into the care of his family, who have apologies for the ordeal.
It is unclear, however, whether he will receive a lifetime flying ban by China’s aviation authority.