An EasyJet passenger terrified his fellow passengers by screaming “Death is coming!” and “Today we die!”, among similar xxx, for the better part of the flight, The Telegraph is reporting.
The passenger, whose name has not been released, was an illegal immigrant to the United Kingdom who was being deported to Italy. Whether or not Italy was his final destination, or his country of origin, remains unclear.
— The Sun (@TheSun) September 11, 2016
The incident happened on August 23, according to The Daily Mail, but is only now gaining attention in the media.
EZY5263 was supposed to be a routine flight from London to Venice, filled with families heading to Italy and points beyond for summer holidays. However, also on board was the unidentified passenger, accompanied by at least two Home Office officials (the Home Office is the U.K department responsible for immigration, security, and order). The deportee, who had spent the previous year in an asylum center in Britain, was seated at the very back of the plane.
As the captain began welcoming travelers on board the aircraft for the two-hour flight, the handcuffed deportee began screaming “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is the Greatest”). The captain valiantly tried to give his speech, giving passengers mundane information about flight time and weather; all the while, the deportee screamed.
“Today, Allahu Akbar, we will die. We will die. We will die. We will die. Today, we will die!”
Several passengers recorded the man’s screams. The audio portion of one such video is posted below.
Though he was handcuffed, the deportee tried to thrash about in his seat, observers say. A Home Office official who accompanied him tried to calm him by putting a hand on his shoulder, with little effect.
All told, by the time the flight landed in Venice, the passenger had yelled “Allahu Akbar” 29 times, “Death is coming!” 17 times, and “We will die!” nine times.
Fellow passengers, Lucy and Terence O’Sullivan, who were seated just a few rows from the deportee, described the horror she felt during the flight.
“It was really scary. I felt threatened. I was tearful. The worst-case scenario was that we weren’t going to get off that plane alive because we didn’t know who the person was, what the circumstances were or anything. There was nothing explained to us. It was very daunting. When we got on board, the seats were moving so he was obviously kicking or thrashing out. I thought someone was having a fit. But when we got up close we could see people were restraining him.”
Mrs. O’Sullivan also said that she feared the man was a possible terrorist.
“We didn’t know whether he came from a group of terrorists, or anything along those lines.”
Making matters worse, say the passengers, EasyJet employees did little to help the situation. Even as terrified children were reduced to tears, flight crew all but ignored the situation – except to tell the passengers to delete their audio and video of the flight.
Fortunately, the flight landed safely in Venice without incident, and the deportee was taken into custody by Italian authorities.
A spokesperson for EasyJet issued a statement acknowledging the incident.
“We acknowledge that on this occasion the situation on board could have been distressing for other passengers and apologize for that.”
The Home office, meanwhile, has declined to comment on the flight.
As it turns out, the Home Office has been using so-called “budget airlines,” of which EasyJet is one, to deport illegal immigrants. However further investigation revealed that the program doesn’t exactly work: reports from earlier this year revealed that the British government spent £1.9 million (about $2.52 million) on “phantom deportations” for deportees who never showed up for their flights.
[Image via Shutterstock/Nieuwland]