Published on Friday, July 7, 2017

Passengers step in as attendant is attacked in first class

A Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle had to turn back 45 minutes after take-off on Thursday evening after a passenger attacked a flight attendant in first class.

Early reports said someone on the Beijing-bound flight had tried to enter the cockpit, but this version of events was later dismissed by Port of Seattle Airport spokesman Perry Cooper, who said the plane turned back after a passenger attacked a flight attendant.

Several passengers stepped in to subdue the alleged attacker, Cooper said.

Three people, including a passenger and a flight attendant, were injured in the incident aboard Delta flight 129, which was flying over the western coast of Canada at the time.

The unruly passenger was also injured, but he declined medical care, according to reports.

After returning to Seattle, the flight, which had originally left Seattle at about 7pm, eventually took off a few minutes after midnight.

In a statement, Delta said: "The passenger was restrained onboard and was removed from the flight by law enforcement without further incident when the aircraft arrived back in Seattle."

First reports described what happened as a 'security incident' but FBI specialist Ayn Dietrich-Williams later said: "There is no information to suggest this is a national security threat," according to CNN.

A 23-year-old man from Florida was arrested and the FBI issued a statement saying: "The FBI's investigation is ongoing and more details about the incident will be provided and the charges announced at the subject's initial appearance in federal court."

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