7 Dec, 2022 @ 17:15
1 min read

Would-be migrants flee plane at Barcelona airport after fake medical emergency forces landing

Migrants at El Prat airport
A screen grab of a video shot as would-be migrants flee a plane at El Prat airport.

TWENTY-EIGHT people fled an aeroplane travelling from Casablanca (Morocco) to Turkey on Wednesday morning, after an apparently faked medical emergency forced the aircraft to make an unscheduled landing at Barcelona’s El Prat airport. 

The alarm was raised at around 4.30am, according to the Cadena SER radio network, and the flight operated by the Turkish airline Pegasus, and which was carrying 228 people on board, made the request to land in the Catalan capital. A pregnant woman said that she was going into labour, and reported that her waters had broken.

Footage of the would-be migrants fleeing the plane on Wednesday morning.

According to protocol, the National Police, Civil Guard and a medical team were awaiting the plane on the runway. 

As soon as the doors opened and the pregnant woman disembarked, however, a group of 28 people also got off the plane and attempted to flee – presumably in a bid to illegally enter Spain.

The officers on the scene managed to intercept 14 members of the group immediately, but were reported on Wednesday to still be searching for the rest. 

Five of the group were taken back on to the plane, while the rest were taken for processing ahead of being sent back to their country of origin. 

The pregnant woman was confirmed to not be in labour, and was arrested for the offence of public disorder. 

A similar incident occurred on November 5, 2021, when an Air Arabia flight made an emergency landing in Palma, in the Balearic Island of Mallorca. A group of 23 passengers managed to exit the plane, which was travelling from Casablanca to Turkey, and illegally enter Spain.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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