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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 17:57 GMT
Plane knifeman arrested
Easyjet library picture
The captain aborted takeoff of the Easyjet flight from Madrid
Spanish police detained a passenger who had two knives on an Easyjet flight bound for Luton from Madrid on Thursday.

The unnamed man, a Chilean national, was removed from the flight which eventually left for the UK 70 minutes late on Thursday evening.

According to Spanish police, the man was carrying two penknives, both seven centimetres wide.

The spokesman said the man had also been making references to "the end of the world" just minutes before takeoff from Madrid's Barajas international airport.

Passenger alerted crew

The flight was Easyjet 2204 which had been due to leave Madrid for Luton at 2125 local time with 139 passengers on board.

A passenger alerted the cabin crew to the behaviour of a man seated nearby.

The plane's captain aborted takeoff and called police who boarded the plane and removed him.

He was taken into custody for questioning.

The flight eventually took off at 2240 local time, arriving at Luton some time after 2300 GMT without further incident.

Media reports quoted police as saying the two penknives were enclosed in plastic casing and had passed undetected through electronic airport security.

Easyjet declined to comment on the security issues other than to say that security would be the responsibility of the airport authorities.

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