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Crew forced to restrain passenger who ‘tried to storm cockpit’

The Independent logo The Independent 22/11/2022 Lucy Thackray
Incident happened aboard a LOT Polish Airlines flight to JFK, New York © Getty Images Incident happened aboard a LOT Polish Airlines flight to JFK, New York

Crew and passengers were forced to restrain a passenger on Friday after he “stormed the cockpit” on a flight from Poland to the US.

Customers on the LOT Polish Airlines flight LO26 were alarmed when the man reportedly ran at and banged on the cockpit door, becoming aggressive and shouting at staff when he was refused entry.

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An eyewitness from the flight told New York’s NBC News that flight attendants and passengers banded together to tackle the man and pin him to the floor of the aircraft.

Passenger JT Genter took to Twitter to record the incident, which happened shortly after 8pm, after the plane had already landed.

“A man started yelling and tried to storm the cockpit of our LOT Polish flight just after landing in JFK,” wrote Mr Genter.

“Crew acted quickly to tackle him and announced a ‘serious security incident’; 15 minutes later we are still taxiing.”

Mr Genter also posted video of passengers and crew at the front of the aircraft, seemingly pinning the disruptive man to his seat.

The flight had left Warsaw, Poland earlier that day bound for the US east coast.

The witness told NBC that those on the plane had been able to restrain the man until the plane reached terminal- 7 at JFK, at which point police arrived, according to Port Authority.

The man was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for evaluation; the FBI will determine if he will face any charges.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the flight had landed “without incident” at 8.30pm.

Other witnesses told reporters that a male crew member had been hit in the face during the altercation, and that the disruptive man had not been seen drinking alcohol.

Mr Genter later posted a video of Port Authority police boarding the aircraft to remove the passenger.

Disruptive passengers are a fairly common phenomenon on flights worldwide.

In early November, a man was filmed shouting at and threatening Singapore Airlines staff, seemingly infuriated at not being served water.

Meanwhile, holidaymakers feared for their lives after an “intoxicated passenger” was heard making threats before trying to open the plane’s emergency exit on a Tui flight in August.

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