Passengers fled after emergency landing in Spain

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An airplane cabin. For illustrative purposes only.
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Madrid: One of Spain’s busiest airports, Palma de Mallorca, was forced to close for nearly four hours after several passengers fled when their plane made an emergency landing, airport authorities say .

The plane, which was on a flight between Morocco and Turkey, was rerouted Friday to the Mediterranean island of Mallorca due to an alleged medical emergency, Civil Guard police told AFP.

During the evacuation of the supposedly ill traveler, about twenty passengers took the opportunity to flee while the plane was on the tarmac. Two people were arrested, police said.

Investigators were working on the hypothesis that the medical incident was organized to enter Spain illegally, El Pais newspaper reported.

The passenger who complained of discomfort was taken to hospital, where he was declared in perfect health and arrested for “helping illegal immigration”, according to the daily.

A passenger who had accompanied him to the hospital was also missing, the newspaper said, which reported that five people had been arrested in addition to the forger.

According to aircraft tracker FlightRadar24, the hijacked plane was an Air Arabia Maroc Airbus A320 on a flight between Casablanca and Istanbul.

Due to the security incident, 13 planes bound for Palma were diverted to other airports and 16 departing flights suffered significant delays, according to airport authorities.

The airport reopened around midnight Friday after being closed for about four hours.

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