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Aviation officers who dragged Dr David Dao off United Airlines flight are fired

The passenger suffered a broken nose and lost teeth in the incident

Lydia Smith
Wednesday 18 October 2017 10:26 BST
United Airlines passenger is dragged off plane because airline overbooked

Two aviation security officers have been fired for their roles in forcibly removing a doctor from an overbooked United Airlines flight.

Dr David Dao, 69, was dragged off a flight from Chicago O’Hare airport to Louisville, Kentucky, to make room for four crew members on the plane.

He broke his nose, lost teeth and suffered a concussion in the incident on 9 April, which was captured on video.

A third officer resigned after the incident and two other officers involved in Dr Dao’s removal were temporarily suspended, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The names of the officers involved were not released.

A report by Chicago inspector general Joseph Ferguson stated the first officer who was fired violated the Department of Aviation’s use-of-force policy.

The officer “escalated a non-threatening situation into a physically violent one by forcefully removing a passenger from the aircraft,” Mr Ferguson wrote.

“The ASO’s use of excessive force caused the passenger to hit his face on an armrest, resulting in the passenger sustaining a concussion, a broken nose and the loss of teeth.”

The second officer, who was also fired, made “misleading statements in two reports” and the third - who resigned - made “material omissions in a report regarding the first” officer’s forceful removal of Dr Dao.

Following the incident, United Airlines reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum with Dr Dao, which includes a provision that releases Republic Airways, which was contracted to operate the flight for United, and the Chicago Police from all responsibility in the incident.

Video footage of Dr Dao being dragged from the flight caused a public relations disaster for the airline as it was shared across the internet.

United has since pledged not to use law enforcement to remove people from flights.

The airline also said it would reduce incidents of overbooking and offer passengers up to $10,000 (£7,750) to agree to be removed from a flight.

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