Lifestyle & Belief

Australia: Qantas staff restrain berserk passenger with cable ties on redeye flight


Qantas planes, with flying kangaroo tailfins, line Sydney airport — more so now that pilots and engineers are striking.


Torsten Blackwood

Passengers aboard a Qantas flight in Australia have reportedly helped to restrain a man who went berserk in midair.

According to 7 News, it took five people, including two off-duty Qantas staff, to wrestle the man to the ground after he threatened and attacked another man on flight QF648 from Perth to Melbourne.

A Qantas spokesman said the man had been "disruptive and threatening" about halfway into the three-and-a-half-hour redeye flight, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

One passenger, Melbourne recruitment consultant Robert Van Stockrom, told 7 News that the drama started at the back of the plane when the man erupted in anger threatening a passenger alongside.

"He kept arguing with another guy in the aisle then he attacked him.

"About four of five of us jumped up and we grabbed hold of him and took him to the ground, and held him there."

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Another passenger, quoted by The Australian after he gave a radio interview, said the man made threats to staff and the pilot.

"They brought the guy up to the front of the plane and he actually woke me up and he said, 'I'm not bothering you am I?' He yelled out and of course everybody woke up then," the passenger, who gave his name as Rob, reportedly told Triple M.

"I said, 'Well yeah, you are, would you like to go and sit down?' Then he attacked the guy that was standing beside him and then the hostess said, 'Please help, please help.'

"About four or five of us jumped up and had to hold him down and put these cable ties on his hands behind his back."

Van Stockrom told 7 News that he sat on the man while staff tried to restrain him with cable ties — also known as flexi-cuffs.

"He was yelling out all sorts of weird stuff, stuff about God," he added. "I can't quote exactly what he was saying, but it was scary, some sort of religious stuff.

"It was upsetting for most people near the incident, it was quite a violent incident."

Australian Federal Police boarded the Qantas flight when it landed in Melbourne at 6 a.m. and removed the man.

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