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Malpas man sees drama of plane tazer arrest

Published date: 07 August 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THIS is the moment a man was arrested by Tazer-toting police following a bomb hoax on board a passenger plane.

The photo was taken by Barry Rolfe, who lives near Chester. 

He was one of 269 passengers flying to Manchester Airport from Doha with Qatar Airways on Tuesday afternoon.

An RAF Eurofighter Typhoon was scrambled to escort the Airbus A330-30 into land after its pilot was handed a note about a possible device on board.

A 47-year-old man was arrested and has now been sectioned under the Mental Health Act while a “fuller assessment” is carried out.

Describing how events unfolded, Mr Rolfe, of Malpas, said they had just flown over Sheffield when the plane began flying in a circular holding pattern.

“I took it Manchester Airport was having a busy day,” he said. 

“Eventually we were starting our descent when there was a deafening engine roar. 

“I thought we had had a near miss but it turned out to be a Typhoon fighter which had been escorting us on the other side of the plane.”

They landed shortly after 1pm and the pilot initially told passengers the parking bay was full, Mr Rolfe said. He only realised what was happening after phoning his brother who said all flights had been diverted due to a bomb scare on his plane.

“Half a dozen armed police then came aboard and took off a British guy from economy,” said Mr Rolfe.

“Then we had another two hours of getting through immigration and waiting for all our bags to be screened. Manchester Airport staff were great. 

The airport boss spoke to us all while we waiting for our luggage apologising for everything. 

He brought in chairs and bottled water and our car parking charges were waived.

“So what was most probably one of the best flights I’d had ended in a distinctly unusual manner.”

The Leader reported yesterday that another Chester man, Matt Cox, had read an online news report about the bomb scare as he sat on the plane – before any mention of it was made by the pilot.

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