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Brawling Chinese force aircraft back to Zurich

By Bai Tiantian (Global Times)

13:50, September 05, 2012

Two Chinese men involved in a brawl that forced their Swiss Air flight to make a U-turn and return to Zurich have been released from custody, a Swiss prosecutor told the Xinhua News Agency Tuesday.

"They were released on Monday local time," the prosecutor said, adding that the 57-year-old Chinese passenger was ordered to pay a fine daily for 90 days on the charge of undermining the safety of public transport.

Consul Wu Tengfei from the Chinese consulate general in Switzerland told the Global Times that he had contacted Zurich police to offer assistance to the two citizens as soon as he heard of the incident.

The older passenger is accused of slapping a 29-year-old man, who had refused to put his seat upright while a meal was being served. After being slapped on the head the younger man jumped to his feet and pushed the older man.

Passenger Valerie Sprenger, 39, told the Swiss newspaper Blitz that the older man attacked the young man after the latter refused a request to adjust his seat.

"Everything happened very fast," said Sprenger.

"The next thing we noticed they were both on the floor fighting."

Flight, LX196, carrying some 200 passengers to Beijing, headed back to Zurich on Sunday after being in the air around six hours.

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