Two charged after chaos erupts on flight from Cancun

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 11:03 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A pair of passengers who disrupted a flight from Mexico to England, causing it to make an unplanned landing in the U.S., are facing federal charges.

They were among a group of three disruptive passengers who allegedly retrieved alcohol from a carry-on bag after being denied service and made racist remarks about the flight crew and passengers while filming the interactions. The behavior escalated over U.S. airspace, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Bangor, Maine.

The TUI Airways captain diverted the flight from Cancun, Mexico to Manchester, England to the Bangor International Airport on Monday night after the cabin erupted in chaos with multiple passengers out of their seats and shouting at each other, the FBI said. The flight had 328 passengers.

Anthony Joseph James Kirby and Damien Jake Murphy, both 36, of Manchester, England, were removed from the plane and arrested, officials said. A third passenger was removed but not charged.

Kirby and Murphy were ordered detained without bail after initial court appearances Tuesday on federal charges of assault and interfering with a flight crew.

Kirby’s attorney said Wednesday he needed more information about what happened on the plane. Murphy’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.