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Women face jail after drunken rampage on jumbo at 30,000ft


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Women face jail after drunken rampage on jumbo at 30,000ft


By Jaya Narain


Last updated at 11:34 PM on 27th July 2008



Two women could face a year in jail and a £20,000 bill after a drunken rampage aboard a plane in which one of them tried to open the cabin door at 30,000ft.


The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in Germany after the pair, aged 26 and 27, lashed out at stewards who refused to serve them more alcohol.


Terrified passengers watched as the women, who had been drinking heavily and smoking in the cabin toilet, shouted abuse at cabin crew.



Law moves in: Passenger's shot of the moment police arrived to arrest two drunk girls on flight from Kos to Manchester


One was heard to shout 'Let's open the door. I want some fresh air' before being grappled to the floor and handcuffed by staff.


The flight landed in Frankfurt where the two were arrested and questioned by police before being released to return to the UK.


Under German law, they could face a year behind bars for their behaviour and could also be hit with a bill for £20,000 from the airline.


The incident happened on an XL Airways Boeing 737 which was returning from the Greek island of Kos to Manchester with 214 passengers and seven crew on board.



article-1038788-0214CC8800000578-902_468x345.jpg Wrestle: The women were restrained on the plane, similar to this one, following their drunken outburst


Witnesses said the women became abusive and lashed out at staff after they were refused more alcohol.


Student Nathan Sivajoti, 18, of Wetherby, West Yorkshire, said: 'They were really loud and foulmouthed. A family with children asked them to tone down their language. The girls started shouting and it escalated from there. Stewards tried to calm it down.


'But the worst came when one of them slapped a mum.


'The pilot then said he was landing and one girl tried to light a cigarette but was stopped.'


Another passenger said: 'It was a hell of a scene. One was lashing out with a vodka bottle after they were refused more booze.


'One of them went to the emergency-exit. She screamed "I want some fresh air." It was a nightmare. The crew were brilliant, wrestling them to the ground and slapping plastic cuffs on them. We all thought we had had it.'



article-1038788-0033061F00000258-844_468x522.jpg Emergency landing: Police were waiting for the two women when the plane touched down at Frankfurt Airport (pictured)


A spokesman for XL Airways said the airline was considering taking legal action against the women to recover the costs of the forced diversion and landing.


Runways were cleared and other aircraft forced to circle in the skies above Frankfurt as the plane came in to land on Wednesday evening.


The aircraft was grounded for one hour before being allowed to continue to Manchester without the two women.


Blood tests later showed they were up to four times over the legal drink drive limit.


Both could face charges of grievous bodily harm and violating air traffic regulations.


They could be forced to return to stand trial in a German court.


XL Airways flies to 50 destinations from 12 UK airports.

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