Spanish authorities announced that the Palma de Mallorca airport in the Balearic archipelago, one of the busiest airports in the country, was closed for nearly four hours on Friday. Unwell, they ran down the runway and fled.
The plane, which was traveling on a flight between Morocco and Turkey, was allowed to make an emergency landing in Palma de Mallorca after receiving information that one of its passengers was unwell, the Spanish Civil Guard told AFP.
When the patient was ejected from the plane, about 20 passengers escaped from it, landed on the runway, and fled before authorities could arrest the two.
According to the El Pais newspaper, investigators believe the escapees planned to make an emergency landing with the intent to enter Spain illegally.
The passenger, who said he was unwell, was taken to a hospital where he was found to be in good health, so police arrested him on charges of “aiding illegal immigration and violating foreign law.”
According to the newspaper, another person, along with the passenger, was taken to the hospital, claiming he was ill, and he escaped.
“El Pice” pointed out that authorities had arrested five passengers who had escaped, except for one who claimed to be ill.
According to Flightradar24, an air traffic monitoring website, the plane that made the emergency landing in Palma de Mallorca was an Airbus A320 owned by Air Arabia (Morocco) and was on a flight between Casablanca and Istanbul.
As a result of the crash, 13 flights bound for Palma were diverted to other airports, with 16 flights significantly delayed, airport officials said.
The airport reopened at midnight on Friday, four hours after it closed.
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