June 01, 2012
A reveller jetting out to a stag party in Majorca tried to set his friend’s hair on fire at 30,000ft – forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.
The 24-year-old passenger was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft after the drama on the packed jet.
The plane had taken off from Manchester Airport and was flying over France on the way to the Majorcan capital, Palma. The cabin crew smelled smoke and alerted the captain, who turned back to land at Gatwick.
Police were alerted and boarded the aircraft after it touched down. The man was taken into custody for questioning. It is understood that both the arrested man and the victim were members of a stag party heading to the island.
Other passengers told police they believed the incident had been an ill-advised prank.
Police said nobody was injured. A spokesman for Monarch Airlines said: “Flight ZB532, flying from Manchester to Majorca on May 31, diverted to London Gatwick where one passenger was offloaded from the aircraft.
“Due to an incident onboard, the decision was taken, in the interests of passenger safety, to divert to London Gatwick so that the passenger could be offloaded.
Monarch has a zero-tolerance approach to disruptive passengers on board. Flight ZB532 landed in London Gatwick at 9.08am where the aircraft was met by Sussex Police.
The flight, operating on an Airbus A321 aircraft with 212 passengers on board, then continued on to Majorca, departing from Gatwick at 10.20am.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The aircraft was diverted to Gatwick and landed shortly after 9am when smoke was detected on board. The smoke came from a passenger whose hair had been singed by another passenger that he was travelling with. A 24-year-old man from Widnes, Cheshire, was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft. He remains in custody.”
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Flight from Manchester diverted after stag party reveller sets fire to pal's hair | Manchester Evening News - menmedia.co.uk