A regular flight to Kolkata from Bangkok earlier this week turned into a free-for-all when a passenger refused to follow the flight crew’s safety instructions. What ensued was a fistfight between the passengers, and The video went viral. Sharing a heartbreaking account of how the dust began, a passenger on the flight Thursday told NDTV that he was to blame.
In the footage recorded by one of the passengers on the Thai Airways Smile planeand the cabin crew and passengers trying to calm down two men on their feet as they argue, eventually devolving into blows and attacks. The man’s friends repeatedly attacking the other join the fight, and it takes a while for the flight attendant to separate the fighting passengers and restore order.
Alok Kumar, one of the passengers on this flight, spoke about the incident in detail in an exclusive interview with NDTV. According to him, the dispute began after a flight attendant asked the man in brown to keep his seat upright, as is customary during many stages of a flight, and in response, the passenger was “rude to the next level.”
Two flight attendants tried to “beg” the man to follow instructions because it was a matter of security, but the man didn’t care. At this point, fellow passengers entered, told the man to follow instructions, and one reportedly asked, “Are you flying for the first time?”
Some of the passengers came from the back of the plane, including the man in gray seen in the video, to talk to the man in brown, after which things quickly got out of control.
Mr Kumar said that while one could see five to six men in the video, the only man who refused to follow instructions was “kind of crazy”, referring to the man being beaten.
He said the others were simply “provoked” by him, which was not recorded in the video. He said that the man in brown was preparing to punch the gray man, but when the former’s friends joined him, he could not fight back.
When the video first appeared online, many netizens expressed sympathy for the man in brown, who is seen to be taking relentless beatings.
Kumar said that the man who was beaten was in fact the main instigator of the incident.
Responding to a question that said the fight looked like a Muay Thai fight scene, Mr. Kumar said the fight mainly consisted of slapping. When asked if he thought those passengers should have been lowered, he replied “At least one man should have been lowered, and that man was the one who was beaten.”
While no more blows were exchanged for the rest of the trip, Mr Kumar said the man in brown continued to complain, refusing to follow the rules. Before the flight landed in Kolkata, he reportedly took off his seatbelt and was “rude to others”.
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