A video taken aboard a Tarom Airlines aircraft showing a police operation at Bucharest airport has become viral. An Egyptian man was violently dragged out of the plane in abrupt and violent ways and among the screams and protests of other passengers.
According to the woman who filmed the scene, Viorica Hagagg, the man – an Egyptian citizen travelling with his wife and son – was sitting in the line of the emergency exit. When the flight crew realised that the three could not understand the rules of the emergency exit, neither in English nor in Romanian, the family was moved to the back of the plane.
A few minutes after being transferred, some security officials came on board who asked the family for passports and invited them to leave the plane at the captain’s request. The man, wife and son did not understand the request and the passengers asked the crew to provide a translator for the apparently upset family. At that point a violent struggle began with the agents who tried to take and arrest the man among the screams and the protests of passengers on board.
In the video, you can also see a plainclothes security officer who repeatedly asks people not to film or take pictures. The crew members repeatedly told other passengers that the man and his family were arrested for spitting on a flight attendant.
The airline replied to Hagagg’s post with a statement, writing: “We are deeply sorry for the incident, but we cannot ignore or allow unruly passengers to violate safety rules and jeopardise safety of the other passengers. Our crew has operated in accordance with the regulations for such situations. The passenger did not have an appropriate attitude (spit the cabin crew) and security officers were called. The lack of cooperation with the cabin crew on the ground can degenerate during the flight and we do not want to take unnecessary risks and emergency landings.”
Video: facebook / Viorica Hagagg / Corriere TV