A French airport worker allegedly punched a passenger who was carrying a child in front of other shocked fliers.
A photo taken by passenger Arabella Arkwright and posted to social media apparently shows a staff member in a white shirt throwing a punch at a man who was holding a baby at Nice airport Saturday. EasyJet flight 2122 was scheduled to travel from Nice to Luton in England.
She told BBC Radio 5 that the alleged victim’s wife was expressing her anger to an airport employee about the lack of baby food and seats.
“The man with the baby went over and talked to the Frenchman and the Frenchman didn’t reply,” Arkwright said. “He just smiled and smirked and then whacked this guy on the left side of his face.”
Arkwright’s husband intervened and pulled the man away from the alleged attacker. The two men were then taken away by police, she recalled. The 49-year-old described how the other passengers demanded the man board the plane with his family.
“When he arrived on the plane, all the plane clapped him,” she told the radio.
The airline – in a statement on Twitter – said it was “concerned” about the incident and the person in the photo is believed to work for Samsic, the airport’s subcontractor.
“We are concerned to see this — it is not an EasyJet staff member & they do not work for our ground handling agents,” easyJet tweeted.
“We are taking this up with Nice Airport & their special assistance provider Samsic who we understand this person works for,” the airline continued.
The airline has been in contact with Samsic, which reportedly suspended the employee, according to CNN.
EasyJet issued an apology for the delay Sunday, saying there was a “technical” problem with the plane. Passengers also provided with “updates and refreshment vouchers,” the airline added.
“The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority,” the statement read. “EasyJet sincerely apologises for the delay and thanks passengers for their patience.”
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