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English>>China Society

Colonel 'drunk' before attack on attendant, witness

By Yang Jian (Shanghai Daily)

08:11, September 03, 2012

A FOREIGN passenger has described how a military officer attacked a female flight attendant on a China Southern Airlines flight, contradicting the findings of the official investigation.

Fang Daguo, a colonel and military director of the militia force department of the Yuexiu district of Guangzhou, pinched the arm of the air attendant and verbally abused her because of a dispute over where he should put his suitcase, the Central African Republic student who was sitting next to the couple told Xinhua news agency over the weekend.

"Fang's wife even scratched her own arm and then blamed the attendant for starting the violence after the dispute," Duoban said, adding the attendant had not retaliated during the dispute.

Fang, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Yuexiu District People's Congress, had apparently been drunk before getting onboard, he added.

There was outrage online after the attendant on flight CZ3874 from Hefei to Guangzhou tweeted on her Weibo microblog last Wednesday that Fang beat, insulted and scratched her after being told that his luggage couldn't be put where he wanted.

She posted pictures of bruises and scratches on her arms and neck that she said had been caused by Fang and his wife. Her uniform was also ripped, she said.

However, the district's publicity department issued a statement on Friday saying that Fang had never beaten the attendant and that both parties have reached an agreement.

The armed forces department also denied that the incident took place and said it was impossible that Fang had hit the air attendant.

According to the attendant, who has not been named, the conflict began when she asked Fang and his wife to move their luggage, which was in the middle of the aisle.

But the couple demanded she move some equipment from the luggage rack to make room for their suitcase.

After she explained the equipment could not be moved, Fang hit her on the shoulder with his bag and the insults began.

When Fang saw that the attendant was taking pictures of the scene, he attacked her and ripped her uniform, the attendant said.

Fang's wife shouted: "You would have no job without us," the student witness said. When the attendant walked back to her station, the couple followed and kept on insulting her, he said.

The attendant's experience was retweeted over 30,000 times.

Then, on Friday, she announced that the couple had apologized and thanked other posters for their support.

Commenting on the case on his microblog, Zhang Qihuai, secretary-general of the Aviation Law Committee at the Beijing Lawyers Association said the Civil Aviation Law, should be strengthened to regulate passengers' behavior.

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