Passenger outburst forces Israeli plane into ‘unplanned’ landing

Jerusalem: An El Al Israeli airlines passenger flight from Tel Aviv to Munich made an unplanned landing at Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, early Thursday after an outburst by a violent passenger, media reported.

According to a report in the Ha’aretz daily, the passenger, a 30-year-old German, started cursing the people around him aboard flight 353, picked on the airline crew members and even punched one of them in the face. No one was reportedly hurt following the outburst.

Support TwoCircles

The Ynet news website interviewed a witness who said the man, whose identity was not released, ran across the plane, yelling “terrorists” and shouting “we’re all going to die” while kicking the doors of the lavatories.

The flag carrier of Israel told Xinhua in a statement that it would launch an investigation into the circumstances of the incident. The passenger was taken to a local police station in Bulgaria and El Al will file a complaint against him.

El Al also stressed that the landing was not an emergency landing but rather an “unplanned” landing and that the decision to land the plane was in accordance with international aviation protocol regarding such incidents.