Nice airport has launched an investigation after video was published online that appears to show a staff member punching a passenger holding a young child following a row over a delayed flight.
Passengers of easyJet flight 2122 from Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport in southern France became embroiled in heated exchanges with airport and airline staff after their flight to London’s Luton Airport was delayed for more than 12 hours Saturday.
The lengthy wait was due to an accident as the plane was being refueled which resulted in fuel being spilled on the airport tarmac.
One passenger was recorded engaging in a heated argument with a member of staff.
In the footage, words are exchanged between the pair before the passenger, who is carrying a small child, appears to push the airport employee. The staff member then seems to throw a punch in return.
Several passengers posted about the delay, and the alleged punching incident, on social media. Many initially thought the employee worked for the easyJet. It subsequently emerged that he was part of the airport’s staff. The Sun published a video of the incident.
.@easyjet absolute chaos – member of staff just punched a passenger in the face at Nice airport. Waited for 12 hours for this.
— Anna McCrum (@CrumAnna) July 29, 2017
EasyJet apologized for the fracas and said the gate agent was not an airline employee.
“We are concerned to see this — it is not an easyJet staff member & they do not work for our ground handling agents,” the airline said on Twitter.
The airport also released a statement confirming that the police are now involved.
“Nice Airport confirms the altercation last night between a passenger and an agent of a subcontracting company. The police was called immediately and took in charge both of them,” the statement read.
“Whatever the circumstances, the airport management firmly condemns this incident and has immediately asked that this staff member to be suspended.
“The images of the CCTV cameras were transmitted to the DDPAF which will determine after investigation the exact circumstances and the follow-up to this incident.”