Passengers on a flight took matters into their own hands after a “drunk” doctor tried to open the aircraft’s emergency exit as the plane was soaring 33,000 feet above the ground. The “extremely aggressive” 43-year-old doctor was overpowered by passengers and was tied to one of the plane’s seats to keep him under control.
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The incident took place on an Aeroflot flight that was traveling from Bangkok to Moscow, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Vadim Bondar, a Russian doctor who was described by passengers as “foul-mouthed and violent,” had reportedly been drinking rum during the journey even though alcohol was banned by the airline for economy class passengers.
One passenger stated, “He had two bottles of alcohol on him and at some point tried to open an emergency exit.”
While the doctor was trying to open the emergency exit, a Norwegian traveler wearing a blue shirt tackled him. Other Russian passengers soon got involved, helping to subdue the drunk doctor.
Bondar cried as the passengers tied him to a seat using a belt.
“The crew and fellow passengers tried to calm him down, but he kept screaming and yelling,” said one passenger.
“He cried when his arms and hands were bound. He kept sobbing and saying ‘My hands are tied, I can’t breathe.’”
Vera Abanina, an Aeroflot spokeswoman, stated, “The economy class passenger while quite obviously drunk was rudely violating public order.”
“’He was extremely aggressive, threatening and humiliating the flight attendants,” she added. “He screamed and did everything to create maximum discomfort to other flight passengers.”
“Two bottles of alcohol were found and confiscated from the passenger. He did not react to verbal and written warnings from the crew,” Abanina continued.
“Other passengers and the crew acted together and fixed the rule breaker in a seat using whatever means they managed to find until the end of the flight.”
Bondar was lashed to the chair for approximately four hours of the flight, and the aircraft managed to land safely in Moscow.
Upon landing, Bondar was handed over to local authorities.
In an interview, Bondar admitted that he was drinking on the flight and later apologized for “causing inconvenience” to other passengers. He also claims that an “unknown medication” was injected into him during the flight and that cash was missing from his carryon luggage when the aircraft landed.