A pregnant woman faked going into labour and forced a plane to land in Barcelona, Spain, where dozens of people tried to escape, the Spanish government has said.
The office for Spain’s government in the Catalonia region said the incident occurred when a Pegasus Airlines flight from Casablanca, Morocco, to Istanbul with 228 passengers on board requested the emergency landing at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport.
As the woman was getting evacuated from the plane, 27 passengers exited the aircraft without authorisation and “tried to flee,” officials said.
Chaotic scenes on the runway
The plane was met by an ambulance and three police patrols on the runway to what they thought was an emergency delivery.
Expecting a mother and baby, they were overwhelmed by a large group of passengers who tried to flee.
“As they were disembarking, the pregnant woman, a group of 28 people left the plane and tried to flee,” according to a source speaking to the AFP press agency.
Police stopped 13 of them. The other 14 managed to elude the police at the airport and remained at large.
Five people were put back on the plane to continue the flight and the authorities were processing the other would-be migrants to ensure their return to Morocco.
The woman who was thought to be in labour was detained on charges of public disorder after doctors at a hospital determined that, although pregnant, she was not about to give birth.
She is reportedly among the group being deported.
Pegasus Airlines operated the flight PC652, which reportedly had 228 passengers on-board from Casablanca to Istanbul.
Of the 13 fleeing passengers grabbed by police, five agreed to get back on the plane and continue on to Istanbul.
The other eight were processed for non-admission to Spain and expected to be put on another Pegasus flight out of the country, officials said.
The Spanish government’s office did not divulge the nationalities of the passengers.
In November 2021, a group of passengers on the same Casablanca to Istanbul route fled after their plane made an emergency landing in Mallorca, when a man had an apparent diabetic attack.
The passenger was taken to hospital but was found to be fine and arrested. Twelve of the passengers escaped into Mallorca.
This article originally appeared on Escape and was reproduced with permission
Story Credit: news.com.au