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Monarch Airlines: UK bound flight forced to make u-turn 'after passenger set himself on fire'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 31-10-2016 Jamie Bullen

© Provided by Independent Print Limited A plane was forced to divert back to an airport after a passenger allegedly set fire to his hands and threatened a flight attendant with a lighter.

Monarch Airlines flight ZB933 left Tenerife on Friday and was due to land in Birmingham before it made the u-turn due to “disruptive behaviour” of two passengers on the aircraft.

One man was arrested when the plane landed back on the Canary Islands and a second person was told to leave the aircraft.

A woman who claimed she was on board the plane told ITV News: “After taking off at 11.20 this morning a passenger was setting fire to his own hands, so the stewardess asked the passenger for the lighter for the duration of the flight.

“He refused and attempted to light the lighter in her face.

“This information was forwarded to the pilot who decided to divert back to Tenerife south airport where the man was arrested."

Delayed passengers were later flown to Portugal before boarding another flight to return to the UK.

A Monarch spokesman said: "Monarch can confirm that two passengers were offloaded on board Monarch flight ZB933 from Tenerife to Birmingham on 27 October 2016 due to disruptive behaviour.

"The flight had departed for Birmingham but diverted back to Tenerife airport where a passenger was subsequently arrested upon arrival.'

"Due to crew operating hours expiring the flight is now positioning to Faro, Portugal where a new crew will be available for the return to Birmingham. Customers will be provided with refreshment vouchers upon arrival in Faro.

"Monarch takes a zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour on board all of our flights. The safety and security of our passengers, crew and aircraft is our absolute priority."

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