Transport inspector suspended for attacking Vietnam Airlines employee

By Vo Hai   October 22, 2016 | 03:19 pm PT
Transport inspector suspended for attacking Vietnam Airlines employee
A still from the video clip that shows two male passengers attack a female Vietnam Airlines employee at Noi Bai International Airport on Tuesday.
The suspension comes on the heels of a directive by the Prime Minister which calls for an investigation into the case.

An inspector at Hanoi's transport department has been suspended pending further investigations after he and another passenger were filmed assaulting a female Vietnam Airlines employee at Noi Bai International Airport last Tuesday, sparking widespread public outcry.

But it is not immediately clear how long Dao Vinh Thuan, 37, will be suspended. The punishment came on the heels of a directive by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who on Thursday instructed Hanoi's municipal government to investigate the incident and report back to him by the end of this month.

Thuan and his friend, Tran Duong Tung, who assaulted Nguyen Le Quynh Anh, an employee of Vietnam Airlines who manages a service team at the airport, have already been banned from domestic and international flights. Tung will be banned by all carriers for the next 12 months while Thuan given a six-month ban, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

Thuan said he and Tung, 32, showed up at Noi Bai at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday to check-in for a flight departing at 1:55 p.m. to Ho Chi Minh City the same day.

Airport staff at the check-in counter directed them to go to boarding gate number 5 but then other staff told them to queue at boarding gate number 3. The two passengers were informed they had missed their flight when they reached boarding gate number 3 at 1:45 p.m., Thuan said, adding that they returned to the check-in counter to demand an explanation.

Seeing that Quynh Anh, who was not wearing a uniform, was filming the exchanges between Thuan, Tung and airport staff, Thuan asked her to stop and delete the video clip. Thuan said he then grabbed her shirt after she refused to delete the clip and was about to run away.

Thuan said he did not attack Quynh Anh and did not know that his friend had assaulted her.

Tung has admitted to hitting the woman. He said he lost his temper after they missed the flight and when Quynh Anh refused to remove the video clip.

Quynh Anh said she hid her mobile phone behind her back when the two passengers asked her to remove the video clip. The man in the white shirt (Thuan) grabbed her shirt and held her around the throat while the other in a black shirt (Tung) hit her on the head from behind, Quynh Anh said, adding that she is currently taking a rest at home.

In a statement released Wednesday, Vietnam Airlines said the two passengers had insulted and attacked a member of staff, and asked authorities to investigate the incident and punish the violent acts.

Related news:

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Passengers assault employee at Hanoi airport after missing flight

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