On a wing and a prayer: unruly religious nutter forces an emergency landing
PRAYING loudly on an airplane is frowned upon. But an exception to the rule was made In 2009 when a bunch of about 50 rabbis and Jewish mystics took to the skies above Israel, praying and blowing ceremonial horns or shofars in a bid to ward off swine flu.
Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri was quoted at the time as saying that the aim of the exercise was:
To stop the pandemic so people will stop dying from it.
The flu was simply called “H1N1” in Israel, as Jews are forbidden to eat pork.
But last night an unsanctioned outbreak of prayer on a United Airlines plane flying from Denver to Washington DC forced it to make an emergency landing at Dulles Washington International Airport in northern Virginia.
A passenger began praying in the aisle – but to which god airline officials have not divulged.
United Airlines flight 662 was preparing to land when the passenger began praying loudly and became disorderly.
The man who’d caused the disturbance with his religious outburst was removed from the plane in handcuffs by police and paramedics and taken away in a police cruiser.
It’s not known if the man has been charged with anything or if he’s being treated for any psychological problems.
In 2008, a bearded Orthodox Jewish man wearing a black hat and a long black coat was ejected from the back of a United Airlines jet shortly before take-off when he began praying and refused to return to his seat despite the insistence of flight attendants.
In that incident, the man claimed he could not stop the prayer until it was finished and attempted to return to his seat once the observance was complete.
Other weird news: A bell-ringer had to be rescued by fire crews after she became entangled in ropes at a church.
The woman, in her late 50s, was left suspended six metres (20ft) in the air at a belfry at St Nicholas’s church in Bathampton, near Bath, Somerset, according to The Guardian.
Avon fire and rescue service said the woman was:
Thrown around the belfry for a bit before landing awkwardly.
She was taken to hospital with a suspected pelvic injury following the accident on Monday night, which happened as the weekly bell-ringing group met at the church.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn (both reports)