Plane Delayed While Passenger Prays in Aisle

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An Air Malta flight had to return to the gate at London's Heathrow airport after a passenger left his seat to pray in the aisle.

The Malta-bound plane was already three hours behind schedule, due to traffic delays caused by weather conditions at Heathrow, and had finally been cleared for take-off when the passenger knelt down in prayer.

The man, who was reportedly chanting in Arabic, ignored flight crew instructions to return to his seat.

There were reports the man was restrained by fellow passengers and crew. The captain returned the plane to the gate.

The man was taken off the plane by police. Other passengers were also disembarked while security officers made a sweep. Eventually the plane was re-cleared for take-off.

Air Malta says at no point were passengers or crew in any danger.

Photo, Peter Grima, flickr
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