A passenger at Heathrow Airport has been hospitalised after stabbing himself in the head with a sharp object. He was overpowered by members of the public and passing cabin crew.

The passenger, who is not believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries, had passed through the airport’s security checks, and then started cutting himself

The incident took place  near the departure lounges in the airport’s Terminal 5 at 5.45pm on Wednesday. The unidentified male began self-injuring with an object he picked up after passing through passport, security and customs checks. A Twitter post made by someone who had witnessed the event said a man had constantly “stabbing himself in his head with what look like a knife”. 

Another passenger, who spoke to the Guardian but did not want to be named, said “People were trying to stop him without getting too close. The chap was muttering words I did not understand and was very distressed. He never tried to attack anyone apart from himself so I don’t think it was a terrorist attack. The person sitting in the seat next to me said that the chap took a knife from the seafood restaurant beside the south gates about 20 metres from where I first saw him.”

Security is something that airlines and airline operators all take seriously, and work continuously to improve. Jack Mooney Head of Security Training at Securicare said, “During a recent observation and risk assessment exercise commissioned by a UK registered airline, Securicare operatives travelled via a UK airport on a short-haul flight to Europe.  The exercise highlighted the need for constant vigilance by ALL airport staff and air crew to help identify potential disruptive or dangerous passengers early. It also highlighted the need for better communication between the different staff groups so that potentially troublesome passengers could be monitored throughout the check-in, security and retail experience pre-boarding. This will allow for early intervention and will also make passengers more conscious that their behaviour is under scrutiny..”

A Heathrow spokesman said there had been an incident with a passenger who had stabbed himself and there was no risk to other passengers. He said: “I can confirm that there was no breach of security. The passenger appears to have picked up the knife in one of the airside departure lounge shops but it would not have been a really sharp object.”

A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said: “Police were called to a shop at Heathrow Terminal 5 to a report that a man had injured himself with a knife.” Officers attended along with paramedics and the man was taken to a west London hospital with injuries which were not life-threatening. “A crime scene is in place while officers investigate. At this early stage no other person is being sought in connection with the incident.”

Securicare have worked with airlines extensively over the past 20 years, and been at the leading edge of developing disruptive passenger management solutions. Click here to find out more about our ‘Preventing & Managing Disruptive Passenger Behaviour’ course, and our widely used ‘Disruptive Passenger Restraint System’

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: trainers@securicare.com or T: 01904 492442

Or click to take part in the 2015 ‘Disruptive Passenger Management’ survey. The results will be  published in due course.

Click for the full story from The Guardian