Air passenger dies after being restrained

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Prosecutors in New York are investigating the death of an air traveller who was subdued by fellow passengers after he became disruptive.

William Lee was pronounced dead after being taken off the American Airlines flight at Kennedy International Airport in New York. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Mr Lee, 48, stood up in his seat during Friday's flight from Los Angeles and "loudly demanded another beer," a spokesman for American Airlines said. Flight attendants asked him to wait until they reached his row, but the man "got very, very belligerent and loud and disruptive and was told he would not be served any more alcohol". One of the cabin staff tried to calm him, but he pushed her aside to try to reach the aisle, the spokesman said.

Seven male passengers restrained Mr Lee, described as a very large man, and they and the flight crew put flexible handcuffs on him and put him back in his seat.

Mr Lee, from New York, left his seat again and the seven passengers held him on the galley floor until the aircraft landed. The spokesman said he had heard reports that the seven were members of a rugby team.

Port Authority police boarded the plane and gavefirst aid to Mr Lee, who "was then in some kind of distress," the airline spokesman said.