Witnesses have described scenes of ‘utter carnage’ after a number of passengers were dragged ‘kicking and screaming’ from a flight that was diverted to London Southend Airport.
According to people who saw security officers removing people who were expecting to be at London City, grown adults were distraught and visibly beside themselves with anguish at the thought of having to witness the South Essex town – even if it would only be the few moments between the terminal and waiting coaches.
EuroAir flight EA3453 from Paris had taken off as scheduled at 9am local time on Tuesday morning, but a layer of translucent fog over London meant that the pilot was forced to divert the Airbus A380 jet to Southend.
It touched down at around 8.40am BST.
An anonymous crew member said: ‘The captain made an announcement around ten minutes before landing that the aircraft was being pushed over to London Southend because of bad weather.’
‘This was met with the usual moans and groans, but this soon developed into screaming and sobbing when he added that they would all need to exit the terminal and board coaches to London City.’
‘I heard one French lady scream that she would rather be ejected into the English Channel and take her chances than spend a few seconds exposed to Southend.’
‘Another gentleman threatened to kick a door open with his two young children for an impromptu parachute-free sky dive as it was preferable to them hearing someone pronounce the word ‘water’ without the ‘t.’
‘He was physically restrained by my fellow cabin crew.’
A spokesperson for British Transport Police told our Chief Reporter that officers attended the arrival of the aircraft due to reports of unrest on board.
PC Peter Peacie added: ‘Once the aircraft was on the ground, we asked the captain to announce that the transfer would only be a short trip up the A127 and A13, but this made three passengers try and hang themselves with oxygen masks.’