The forced landing of a passenger liner in Palma de Mallorca was arranged by illegal immigrants wishing to get to Spain.
One of the passengers on the plane flying between Morocco and Turkey complained of poor health. The crew decided to change course and land in Palma de Mallorca for medical assistance. But after landing, about 20 passengers rushed to run down the runway, trying to escape.
As a result, the airport, one of the busiest in the Balearic Islands, was closed for four hours yesterday, police told the French news agency. They managed to arrest two illegal immigrants.
According to the Spanish daily El Pais, citing investigative authorities, the incident was rigged to illegally enter Spain. A passenger complaining of discomfort, for whom the plane made an emergency landing, was taken to the hospital. The doctors’ verdict is healthy. He was arrested for “facilitating illegal immigration and violating the Aliens Act.” El Pais reported five more arrests.
In connection with the incident, 13 planes that were supposed to land in Palma de Mallorca were sent to other airports. The departure of another 16 liners was delayed for several hours. The airport only opened around midnight, after 4 hours of inactivity.