Six mainlanders were arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport after a scuffle with airline ground staff, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.
Those arrested were among over a hundred passengers who were scheduled to fly to Beijing on a Hong Kong Airlines flight on Monday night. The flight was delayed due to air traffic control in the mainland and weather conditions.
Around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a female passenger attempted to break into the aerobridge after quarrelling with airline staff over the flight’s delay at the boarding gate.
Airline ground staff tried stop the woman but chaos ensued when five other mainland passengers shoved the airline staff.
About seven airline staff were said to have sustained minor injuries in the scuffle and the six passengers were taken to a police station.
A Hong Kong Airlines spokesperson said Flight HX304, which was scheduled to fly to Beijing at 8:10 p.m. Monday, finally took off at 4:45 a.m. Tuesday after a delay of eight and a half hours.
The plane landed in Beijing at around 8 a.m. Tuesday. Several passengers complained their luggage was not loaded onto the plane.
Hong Kong Airlines said a few passengers missed the flight and their luggage had to be unloaded under civil aviation regulations.
The airline decided to unload all luggage to avoid causing a further delay. It is understood that the luggage had been flown to Beijing on Tuesday afternoon and subsequently delivered to their owners.
A mainland netizen posted a four-second video clip showing the confrontation between airline staff and the passengers.
According to the netizen, a member of the airline staff threw the first punch at an old female passenger and a member of the flight crew shouted at the passengers, “What are you, mainlanders, this is Hong Kong!”
Another video footage of the incident shows several passengers swearing at the airline staff and rushing to the aerobridge. It also shows a male crew member shouting “Don’t hit!” to a passenger who has turned violent, and a female passenger who is lying on the floor.
A witness who took the video footage said the woman lay down on the floor and later claimed that she was punched by the airline staff.
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