Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s bodyguard left a loaded pistol in an aeroplane toilet while returning from New York to London, reported the British media on February 4. The bodyguard provided by Metropolitan Police, who left the pistol and Cameron’s passport behind in the plane’s toilet, has been suspended pending an investigation.
The other passengers were reportedly shocked when one of them found the pistol in the toilet. The terrified passenger handed over the pistol to the flight attendant on the British Airways scheduled service. A British daily quoted one of the passengers saying the captain confirmed the discovery of a gun which freaked everyone out present on the aircraft.
The pilot announced that close-protection officers were allowed to carry guns but a passenger refused to accept the argument which led to the delay in take-off. Though the pilot tried to convince the passengers that the weapon was allowed for the officer under the Civil Aviation Authority rules but the travellers objected over the presence of a weapon during flight and it had to be removed before the take-off.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that they were aware of the incident on a flight and announced that the officer involved has since been suspended from operational duties. The police added that they were taking the incident extremely seriously and had launched an internal investigation. A British Airways spokesperson reportedly said that the airlines follows CAA rules which allows UK police to carry firearms on board in specific, controlled circumstances.
A British daily quoting a passenger said that there was a commotion in the flight when a passenger found a gun in the toilet. The incident was met with disbelief among the other travellers and the captain tried to calm everyone down by explaining the legitimacy of the presence of the gun. The passengers felt uncomfortable about the guns being allowed on the plane and the captain later returned to confirm that it has been removed from the flight.
(with inputs from agencies)