Europe

Ryanair flight violence: Groom says stag do behaviour 'unacceptable'

The men being led away from the runway Image copyright Reza Heravi
Image caption The men were led away from the plane by German officers

A groom whose stag party caused a Ryanair flight to be diverted because of drunken violence has called his friends' behaviour "unacceptable".

Twelve men, aged 25 to 28, were travelling to the Slovakian capital Bratislava from Luton on Friday.

Violence broke out and and six were later detained by police after an unscheduled landing in Berlin.

Groom Joshua Mariner, from Southampton, told the Southern Daily Echo he was not among those thrown off the plane.

One of the group exposed himself while others were fighting, passengers said.

In a statement given to the Southern Daily Echo newspaper, Mr Mariner, 26, said: "The lads' behaviour was unacceptable and they will now have to suffer the consequences of their actions.

"It was reported by German police that I was one of the lads arrested which isn't true and I will be seeking legal advice as it has caused a lot of distress for me and my family."

'Massively drunk'

Police in Berlin said in a statement that six members of the group - from Southampton - were threatening security on board and did not comply with the crew's instructions.

A video from the plane, published by the Sun newspaper, showed one member of the group swearing at another man and threatening him before throwing a punch.

The men were removed from the aircraft after the pilot decided to land at Berlin Schonefeld Airport.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Ryanair captain decided to carry out an unscheduled landing

Reza Heravi, a passenger on the plane, said it was clear the men were "massively drunk" before they boarded the flight and had been singing loudly.

He said: "As we took off, they were hardly seated, they kept standing up and shouting random stuff.

"At one point, one of the guys pulled down his trousers and exposed himself to the air hostess."

He added: "They then decided to have a fight between themselves.

"One of the very drunken members of the group tried to stop the fight but was unsuccessful. That's when the cabin crew said we need to stop off in Berlin."

Mr Heravi said it took 20 minutes to get the men off the aircraft and the flight arrived in Bratislava two hours late.

Police officers at the airport charged the men with misdemeanours under German aviation security laws which are punishable by a fine of up to €25,000 (£20,000), police said.

A possible civil damages suit from the airline could also follow.

The six men were later released. The other six members of the stag group continued their journey.

A Ryanair spokesman said the airline did not tolerate "unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority".

"This is now a matter for local police," the spokesman added.

Update 2 March 2016: Some quotes have been removed from this report after it transpired the person who made them had not actually been a passenger on the flight.

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