Terror as Tongan man allegedly tried to open aircraft emergency exit, businessman claims

'Oku taupotu 'i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

Passengers of a Virgin Australia flight from Sydney to Tonga sat in horror while a Tongan man attempted unsuccessfully to open the emergency exit of the aircraft while it was in the middle of the flight.

It was claimed a drunken man attempted to harass a woman during the flight.

Tongan business man Simana Kamī claimed the man was one of a group of seasonal workers who returned from Australia to Tonga about two weeks ago and who had been drinking.

Kamī, the owner of the ‘Oholei Beach resort in Tongatapu, claimed the flight attendants begged the group during the flight to surrender the alcohol they were drinking on the plane. The men finally agreed.

Kamī alleged some of the group had an altercation during the flight and swore.

Virgin Australia and Tonga’s Ministry of Internal Affairs have been contacted for comments.

Kamī told Tongan Facebook video programme Speak to the Nation he and some passengers had intervened and calmed down the disturbnce. The programme was posted on Facebook on September 21.

By this evening the video had attracted 406 reactions, 366 shares, 85 comments and 21,000 views.

Kamī, who had lived in Australia for more than a decade and ran the Kamī Kids electric band in Sydney claimed this was not the first time an incident of this nature had occured on the flight from Sydney.

He said he had pleaded with the Tongan authorities to sort out the problem. He said it appeared it was normal for seasonal workers to drink at the airport before they boarded their plane to Tonga.

Kamī was accompanied on his most recent flight by his daughter who told him one of the men involved in the disturbance had tried to touch her.

He said she also spoke to the flight attendants, who apologised for the man’s behaviour.

“Thanks God that I did not know about it as I may have intervened and things would have escalated,” Kamī said in Tongan.

Kamī said he later talked to a man from the group who was not drunk.

The man said their group had worked in farms in Bribane. There were about 50 of them.

Kamī said he tried to contact the Ministry of Internal Afairs and Virgin Blue but to no avail.

He pleaded with the Tongan seasonal workers to be prudent and not abuse alcohol.

He advised them to consider their families and save their hard earned money for them.

Kami said he was aware of a previous incident in which the Police in Tonga had to wait at the airport before they offloaded some drunken seasonal workers from an Australian flight.

The main points

  • Passengers of a Virgin Australia flight from Sydney to Tonga sat in horror while a Tongan man attempted unsuccessfully to open the emergency exit of the aircraft while it was in the middle of the flight.
  • It was claimed a drunken man attempted to harass a woman during the flight.
  • Tongan business man Simana Kamī claimed the man was one of a group of seasonal workers who returned from Australia to Tonga about two weeks ago and who had been drinking.

1 COMMENT

  1. Tukuaki’i ne tangutu e kau pāsese’ mo e manavahē lahi lolotonga e feinga ‘a ha tangata Tonga ke fakaava e matapā ki he hū ki tu’a ‘i ha fie ma’u fakavavevave ‘o e vakapuna Virgin Blue ‘i ha puna mei ‘Aositelēlia ki Tonga.

    Na’e fakahoko e ngāuepango’ ni lolotonga kuo ‘i he vavaa’ e vakapuna mo e kau pāsese’.

    ‘Oku tukuaki’i ko e kau ngāue toli ‘eni ne foki mei Pilisipeini ki Tonga fakafuofua ki he uike ua ‘o e māhina ni’.

    ‘Oku tukuaki’i ne nau konā pea ne ‘i ai e feinga ke ala ki ha fefine lolotonga ‘a e puna ko ‘eni’.

    Na’e pehē ‘e Sīmana Kamī ko ha tangata pisinisi Tonga ‘a’ana ‘a e lisooti Matātahi ‘Oholei ‘oku ‘ikai ko ha toki hoko ‘eni ha me’a pehē ‘i ha folau mei ‘Aositelēlia ki Tonga pea kuo’ ne ui ai ki he kau ma’u mafai’ ke fai ha me’a he ‘oku uesia heni ‘a e tau’atāina ‘a e kau pāsese’.

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