- A passenger tried to open the door of a British Airways plane mid-flight during a panic attack before he was subdued by other passengers.
- The unnamed man on flight 263 from London to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, tried to open a door at the back of the plane while yelling “I want to get out” in broken English, the UK’s The Guardian newspaper reported.
- Passengers including Dean Whyte – a boxing consultant and the brother of British professional boxer Dillian Whyte – managed to pull him away, eventually calming him down.
- One flight attendant told The Guardian: “I have never seen anything like that before.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A British Airways passenger tried to force open one of the plane’s emergency exit door mid-flight before he was stopped by other passengers.
The man was suffering a panic attack on the Monday flight BA 263 from London’s Heathrow to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, The Guardian newspaper reported.
The unnamed man tried to open a door at the back of the plane while yelling “I want to get out” in broken English before other passengers intervened, according to the outlet.
Dean Whyte – a boxing consultant and the brother of British professional boxer Dillian Whyte – was one of the passengers who intervened. Whyte, who is 6ft 7in (2 meters) tall, pulled the passenger from the door, saying: “Calm down, bruv.”
More than six members of the plane’s crew then joined, bringing handcuffs, and the man was calmed and returned to his seat after several minutes, according to The Guardian.
Whyte told the Guardian that “It was like something out of a movie.”
He said: “I managed to grab him and was preparing to slam him hard if necessary but myself and the steward could see he wasn’t quite right in the head so I held him and tried to calm him down. Eventually it worked.”
Whyte tweeted on Tuesday: “Just Happy I Was There To Help.”
The Guardian identified a passenger called Ian McNally as the first passenger who tried to restrain the man.
He said that he was grateful for Whyte’s intervention: “I was mightily relieved when I saw him rushing to help.”
It is actually almost impossible for a person to open the plane’s emergency exit doors while in flight. The doors are held in place by the stark difference in pressure between the inside and outside of the cabin, meaning a human is not strong enough to overcome it.
An unnamed flight attendant confirmed the incident to The Guardian, saying: “I have never seen anything like that before.”
And another passenger, who asked not to be named, said: “Everyone who intervened were heroes.”
A British Airways spokesperson told The Guardian: “Our cabin crew cared for a customer who suffered from a panic attack during the flight. We are sorry for any concern this caused our customers.”