An ordinary flight to Kolkata from Bangkok earlier this week turned into an every man for himself when one of the passengers refused to follow cabin crew’s safety instructions. A fight ensued between passengers, the video of which went viral. Sharing a detailed account of how the dust started, one of the passengers on the flight on Thursday told NDTV who he believed was to blame.
In the footage, which was recorded by a passenger on the Thai Smile Airways plane, cabin crew and fellow passengers are seen trying to calm down two standing men as they argue, eventually turning into blows and in attacks. The friends of the man who repeatedly attacks the other join the fight, and it takes a flight attendant some time to separate the fighting passengers and restore order.
Alok Kumar, a passenger on that flight, spoke about the incident in detail in an exclusive interview with NDTV. According to him, the disagreement began after a flight attendant asked the man in brown to keep his seat upright, as is the norm for many phases of the flight, and in response the passenger was ” rude to the next level”.
Two flight attendants tried to “beg” the man to follow instructions as it was a safety issue, but the man ignored them. At this point, the other passengers intervened, telling the man to follow the instructions, with one apparently asking, “Are you seeing this for the first time?”
Some passengers from the rear of the plane, including the man in gray visible in the video, came to exchange a word with the man in brown, after which things quickly degenerated.
Mr Kumar said while five to six men can be seen in the video, only the one who refused to follow instructions was “a bit crazy”, referring to the beaten man.
The others, he said, were simply “provoked” by him, which is not recorded in the video. He said the man in brown was about to hit the man in gray, but when the former’s friends joined in, he couldn’t fight.
When the video first surfaced online, many netizens expressed sympathy for the man in brown, who appears to be receiving incessant beatings.
In reality, Mr Kumar said, the man who is beaten was 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 was mostly slapping. When asked if he thought these passengers should have been disembarked, he replied “At least one guy should have been disembarked, and that guy was beaten.”
While no further blows were exchanged for the remainder of the flight, Mr Kumar said the man in brown continued to complain and refused to follow the rules. Before the flight landed in Kolkata, he allegedly took off his seatbelt and was “rude to others”.