This is the moment Romanian cops put an elderly Egyptian man in a headlock and manhandle him off a flight as his Moroccan wife faints because they could not speak English.
The North African family was forcefully ejected from a plane in front of 150 stunned passengers at the Henri Coanda International Airport outside the southern Romanian capital Bucharest.
Video Credit: CENfirstname.lastname@example.org
Passengers on the aircraft can be heard voicing protest at the man’s treatment and some film the incident as a group of cops drag him off the plane which was travelling to Cairo.
His Moroccan wife was reportedly earlier accused of spitting at a cabin crew member who asked them to change seats but the woman allegedly did not understand, not being able to speak English or Romanian.
Requests for an interpreter allegedly went unanswered and the footage does not show her spitting at staff.
The captain then asked the husband, wife and son to leave the plane, but they refused and the police were called on board to eject them, according to local media.
In the clip the man can be heard begging other passengers to come to his aid as cops grab him and place him in a headlock.
He says (in Arabic): “You guys are Egyptian, you should speak up.”
He later adds (to the cops): “Is this how you behave here?”
One woman can be heard saying: “They are going to squash him.”
While another passenger says in protest: “F*ck this plane, let’s all get off.”
Meanwhile, some of the passengers reportedly fainted due to the delay and hot temperatures on the troubled flight.
The incident took place when the 49-year-old Moroccan woman allegedly refused to change seats on the Cairo-bound flight and was accused of spitting at a Tarom staff member.
Female passenger Viorica Hagagg shared the story on social media, claiming that the security staff did not handle the situation well and that they should have called for an interpreter.
She said: “We asked security to provide a translator to ensure that the lady understood what she was required to do.
“When the passenger asked why she was being asked to leave the plane, she was told ‘because I said so’.”
“We later found out that the reason for ejecting her was not because she could not understand or refused to follow the instructions related to the emergency exit rules, but because she spat at one of the flight attendants.
“It is not difficult to imagine what the lady was going through when the staff’s attitude was not friendly and people were tired.”
The Romanian airline said in a statement: “Tarom expresses its regret over the incident during the ROT 101 Otopeni to Cairo flight, however we are bound to comply with international aviation regulations on passenger safety and security.”
According to reports, the Moroccan woman and her Egyptian husband could not speak either Romanian or English and they were seated at an emergency exit.
Tarom explained that anyone sitting in those seats needs to be willing to help in the case of an emergency and follow instructions in English or Romanian.
Local media reports claim that the family was not allocated those seats and when they were asked to see their documents, they claimed to not understand and refused to cooperate.
It is claimed that the woman spat at a staff member. The police were then called on to the plane to remove the family.
A police statement said: “The border police, who were accompanying the security staff, were informed that a 49-year-old Moroccan woman was being aggressive towards one of the cabin crew, spitting at staff and refusing to show her documents.
“The woman was accompanied by her husband, an Egyptian citizen, and their son. When they were notified that they had to leave the plane, the family refused to disembark and showed violent behaviour.”
A six-minute video of the incident was shared on Facebook by ‘Viorica Hagagg’ where it has been viewed 83,000 times.
It is unclear whether the family will face further punishment and whether they were able to board a subsequent flight. It is also unclear if they plan to file a complaint against the staff.
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.