- Photo appears to show an airport employee punching a passenger in the face
- Witness told MailOnline the British victim was holding his nine-month-old baby
- Incident occurred as families waited to board flight from Nice to London Luton
- EasyJet said the gruelling delay to flight EZY2122 was due to a technical issue
- Police in Nice today confirmed they are investigating the incident and picture
- If you have information about the incident, email firstname.lastname@example.org
An airport worker struck a young father holding his nine-month-old baby with ‘one hell of a punch’ following a grueling 12-hour delay, a shocked witness said today.
A photograph appears to show the man, believed to be a special assistance provider at Nice Airport, attacking the easyJet passenger in the terminal on Saturday.
Arabella Arkwright, 49, who was with her two children at the time, told MailOnline of the chaos that unfolded as families waited to board flight EZY2122 to London Luton.
She was on holiday with her husband Johnnie, 64, her 16-year-old son Harry and 13-year-old daughter Violet.
This photograph appears to show the man, believed to be a special assistance provider at Nice Airport, punching a passenger in the face
Arabella Arkwright was at the airport and took the photograph of the man in the white polo shirt (pictured) appearing to punch the British passenger
Mrs Arkwright, a businesswoman from Warwickshire, said passengers were becoming more frustrated after being told the 11am flight was delayed.
Almost 12 hours later, a British father in his ‘late 20s’ was holding his baby and told an airport worker he had had a ‘terrible day’.
Mrs Arkwright, who got finally got home at 4am this morning, said: ‘The man was British, it looked like he was in his late 20s and was telling the worker that he had had a terrible day.
‘He was standing there holding his nine-month-old baby. He didn’t want to have a fight.
‘The worker just smirked at him and he was the other side of the glass barrier so he reached over to hit him.
‘It was one hell of a punch. It was a loud whack and there was no provocation.
‘Everyone was having the most appalling day and then, all of a sudden, the man holding a baby gets whacked.
‘My 64-year-old husband pulled the worker back which was very brave and unlike him but he was so enraged by what had happened.’
Mrs Arkwright said the man was holding his baby while his wife vented their frustration at the lack of baby food and seats to airport employees.
She said the alleged attacker, wearing a white shirt and black trousers, repeatedly smiled at the family before lunging at the father.
‘He said nothing, smirked, showed no interest or concern for the family,’ she recalled.
‘Everyone was appalled. The man had a great big mark on his left eye when he finally got on the plane and everyone applauded him.’
EasyJet said passengers were given regular updates and refreshment vouchers but many claimed no one told them why their flight was delayed
EasyJet passengers were forced to wait at Nice Airport in France (pictured) after their flight was delayed
Police in Nice today confirmed that they had received a call about the incident, and that it was being investigated.
A police source said: ‘We have seen the photograph and will be examining video footage in the airport terminal.’
Another passenger, called Carl, told MailOnline that the man was showing his concern regarding all of the people who were on the delayed flight.
He said: ‘The gentlemen that was physically assaulted was showing his concern regarding all passengers that were told they were about to board and forced to the end of a corridor which was not air conditioned and fairly confined with all the passengers, elderly, children and families.
‘People were feeling sick and unwell being kept in such conditions, to which he approached the desk to complain.
‘Obviously things got out of hand and the airport staff employee lashed out and struck the man who was holding a child.
‘From what I could overhear, the staff member was showing no sympathy or concern for all of us that have been suffering for such a long period of time.
‘The gentleman holding the baby was not arrested, but taken away for a private conversation.’
An easyJet spokesperson said the airport employee does not work for the airline.
He is believed to work for French company Samsic which is contracted by Nice Airport to provide employees who help disabled passengers, including those in wheelchairs.
EasyJet said the flight was delayed due to a ‘technical issue with the aircraft’ and that a replacement jet and crew were being sent from London Gatwick.
But Mrs Arkwright claims their day from hell began when the plane they were in pulled away while a piece of equipment was still attached.
EasyJet said the flight was delayed due to a ‘technical issue with the aircraft’ and that a replacement jet and crew were being sent from London Gatwick (file photo of Nice Airport)
She said the passengers were offered a four euro voucher for food before being taken back into the terminal where their wait began.
Mrs Arkwright said: ‘It was utter chaos at the terminal. There were bags all over the place, everyone was frustrated and we had no idea what was going on.
‘Children were crying, they were exhausted, people were having to stand up for hours. I asked to speak to someone but they said no one was available.’
An easyJet spokesperson said passengers were given regular updates and refreshment vouchers but Mrs Ark claimed no one told them why their flight was delayed – nor when they might be able to fly home.
The airline’s spokesperson said: ‘EasyJet is very concerned to see this picture and can confirm the person in the photo is not an easyJet member of staff nor do they work for easyJet’s ground handling agents in Nice.
‘We are urgently taking this up with Nice Airport and their special assistance provider Samsic who we understand the person photographed works for.
‘EasyJet is sorry that flight EZY2122 from Nice to London Luton on 29 July was delayed departing Nice.
‘This was due to a technical issue with the aircraft and a replacement aircraft and crew were sent from London Gatwick to operate the flight.
‘Passengers were provided with updates and refreshment vouchers during this time and the flight landed in London Luton on Saturday night.
‘The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.
EasyJet sincerely apologises for the delay and thanks passengers for their patience.’
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online