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British boxer's brother stops mid-air escape attempt on London-Riyadh flight carrying Anthony Joshua's mother Open in fullscreen

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British boxer's brother stops mid-air escape attempt on London-Riyadh flight carrying Anthony Joshua's mother

The passenger reportedly suffered a panic attack as the flight neared Riyadh [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 December, 2019

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A man who reportedly suffered a panic attack was restrained by his fellow travellers when he attempted to open a plane's door while it was mid-air.
A traveller on a Riyadh-bound flight from London on Monday attempted to open the aircraft's cabin door mid-air while suffering a panic attack, according to media reports.

Several passengers on British Airways flight 263 from Heathrow to Riyadh, including the brother of UK heavyweight boxer Dillian Whyte, scrambled to restrain the man, according to The Guardian.

Dean Whyte was travelling to Saudi Arabia ahead of his brother's undercard bout for the highly-anticipated rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.

Also onboard was Joshua's mother, Yeta Odusanya.

"It was like something out of a movie," Whyte told The Guardian. "When I got there he was shouting 'I want to get out' in broken English.

"I managed to grab him and was preparing to slam him hard if necessary but myself and the steward could see he wasn't quite right in the head, so I held him and tried to calm him down. Eventually it worked."

The incident occurred as the plane was within about an hour's distance from the Saudi capital. 

"Our cabin crew cared for a customer who suffered from a panic attack during the flight," a British Airways spokesman said.

"We are sorry for any concern this caused our customers."

According to the UK's Mental Health Foundation, panic attacks can be sudden and intense experience of fear which is often accompanied by physical symptoms, including a racing heart, rapid breathing, or upset stomach

Research suggests that some 13.2 percent of people have experienced a panic attack at some point in their lives.

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