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Published: Sat, July 08, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Three injured on Delta flight after passenger fights with flight attendant

Three injured on Delta flight after passenger fights with flight attendant

A Delta Airlines flight had to make a quick, unscheduled return to Sea-Tac Airport Thursday night after passenger attacked a flight attendant on the Beijing-bound flight.

The 23-year-old man attacked the flight attendant roughly 45 minutes into Delta Flight 129, a Sea-Tac Airport spokesman said, according to NBC News. Fellow passengers stepped in to try and subdue the man, with one other person injured, as well as the assailant and the flight attendant, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "I tried to choke him and he just threw me off like a rag doll", said an unidentified passenger.

He said the suspect started screaming for help.

The flight left for Beijing shortly after midnight on Thursday.

The incident was triggered, according to a statement from Delta, by a "security incident" on the twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER passenger plane.

An anonymous passenger said other passengers hit the man with wine bottles in an attempt to subdue him.

In order to ensure the flight could continue safely to its destination, passengers and flight crew had to restrain the man so that the pilot could have Flight 129 land back in Seattle. But "there is no information to suggest this is a national security threat", said Federal Bureau of Investigation public affairs specialist Ayn Dietrich-Williams. The alleged attacker was the third person injured, but he declined help from medical personnel after landing.

"One of the flight attendants ran back and said there was a Code 3", said Jones. "There was a serious fight up front".

Jones said the man was rolled into the terminal in handcuffs and a wheelchair after being arrested.

A Delta spokeswoman denied media reports that the plane was escorted back to Seattle by military jets.

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