Edinburgh-bound plane diverted after woman 'threw prosthetic leg at cabin crew, demanded cigarettes and parachute'

The plane was travelling from Tunisia to Scotland

A pilot was forced to divert a plane to Gatwick Airport on Wednesday night, after a woman on a flight bound for Edinburgh allegedly launched a foul-mouthed tirade and threw her prosthetic leg at staff.

The Thomson Airlines flight 297 was travelling from Enfidha in Tunisia to Edinburgh, when the woman began “swearing blue murder” and threw food at staff, according to a Sussex Police spokesman.

Another passenger on the flight told the Edinburgh Evening News she had demanded cigarettes and a parachute and was "off her face on drink."

John Smith, from Falkirk told the paper: "She was shouting ‘I want cigarettes’ and that she wanted a parachute to jump off the plane.

“She slapped a young girl and then assaulted the cabin crew with her prosthetic leg."

The captain became so alarmed by her behaviour that he diverted the plane to Gatwick, West Sussex.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “She was swearing blue murder, saying she was going to do this and that and the other, so the flight was diverted to Gatwick.”

But he refused to comment on reports the woman was drunk when the alleged attack took place.

Read more: Man stuck in airport makes spectacular music video
If you weren't afraid of flying...you probably are now
United Airlines pens least sincere apology letter of all time

The woman from Edinburgh was arrested by police at the North Terminal at 10.22pm on Wednesday. She was then taken to Crawley police station, where she is being questioned by officers on suspicion of using threatening behaviour.

In a statement, Thomson Airways said: “Thomson Airways would like to apologise to passengers for the diversion into Gatwick airport of flight TOM 297 travelling from Enfidha, Tunisia to Edinburgh on 30th July.

"Unfortunately a passenger became disruptive on board and as a last resort the captain decided to divert the flight to Gatwick. Upon landing, the aircraft was met by local police and the passenger was removed for questioning.

"We would like to reassure customers that their safety is our priority at all times. Thomson Airways operates a zero tolerance policy with regards to any disruptive behaviour on board and incidents of this type are extremely rare."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003