Passenger who 'went bananas' and 'ran through plane naked before knocking over attendant' is arrested

28 May 2024, 15:53 | Updated: 28 May 2024, 16:33

Virgin Australia plane tail
Virgin Australia plane tail. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

A flight from Perth to Melbourne was forced to make an emergency landing after a male passenger allegedly ran naked through the cabin, knocking a crew member down.

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The Virgin Australia flight had just taken off when it returned to Perth airport on Monday evening to be met by Australia's federal police. He was then arrested.

A spokesperson for Virgin said the flight had to return to Melbourne due to a "disruptive passenger” who was then "offloaded" by police.

“The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority and we sincerely apologise to guests impacted,” the spokesperson added.

Fellow passengers described how the man "went bananas" after running through the plane without his clothes on.

Baggage handlers at Melbourne Airport in Victoria, Australia.
Baggage handlers at Melbourne Airport in Victoria, Australia. Picture: Alamy

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Australia's federal police said: "Officers arrested a man after he allegedly ran naked through the aircraft mid-flight and knocked a crew member to the floor”.

One of the passengers on the plane told Guardian Australia that after an hour on the flight - which normally takes around three and a half hours - that "all of a sudden" he could hear "running up the aisle" and saw a guy with "no clothes on and he’s just charging towards the front of the plane".

The passenger said there was "a lot of yelling and screaming" after the man allegedly knocked over the flight attendant.

He said he worried that the incident could have been an attack and found the whole situation traumatic.

The Australian added that another passenger - who he described as a larger man in business class - jumped up and tried to intervene as another two men tackled the allegedly naked man to the ground.

He was then pinned down and handcuffed, the passenger said.

Another passenger described how the man "went bananas" and ran through the aisles before slamming the cockpit door.

They told Melbourne's 3AW radio: "Two air marshals had to restrain and handcuff the individual until the [flight] landed.”

The passenger who was arrested was taken to a local hospital where he has now undergone an assessment. He remained there on Tuesday, Australian media reported.

He will now appear before Perth Magistrates Court in June. His charges have not yet been finalised.

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