Investigation into illegal immigration incident at Palma airport last November continues in Palma court. | - EFE


A doctor on board the plane that last November was involved in a serious incident at Palma airport warned the crew that they had to land in at least 15 minutes, or a passenger, who was allegedly suffering from a diabetic crisis, could die.

This was confirmed on Thursday in court by the crew of the Royal Air Maroc plane, testifying as witnesses by video conference from Morocco.

The crew and the doctor were testifying as part of the investigation into an incident last November which led to Palma airport being closed for four hours, when allegedly several young Moroccans simulated a medical emergency to escape and enter Spain illegally.
They are being investigated for alleged crimes of sedition, encouraging illegal immigration and public disorder.

On Thursday, the commander, the cabin chief and two stewardesses testified in the case which being investigated by a Palma court.

According to sources close to the case, when the plane, which had left Morocco bound for Turkey, was flying over the sea between Alicante and Ibiza, a passenger began to feel unwell and the captain asked over the loudspeaker if there was a doctor on board.

At that moment, two people who identified themselves as doctors appeared, one of them a woman, attended to the allegedly ill passenger. The purser of the flight testified that he saw first-hand that the doctor performed a blood glucose test on the patient after he said he was diabetic, and that the test resulted in high blood sugar levels.

Therefore, according to these witnesses, the decisions was taken to make an emergency landing in Palma because the doctor informed the crew that it was a critical life-or-death situation. In fact, she warned that they had about 15 minutes to land.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the incident was part of an organised plan to enter Europe illegally, orchestrated through a Moroccan Facebook group in which a modus operandi was described that fully coincided with the events that took place at Palma airport.

The plan, for which volunteers were sought on the social network, consisted of taking a plane to Turkey and starting to insinuate a medical problem when the aircraft flew over Spain in order to force an emergency landing.

The young Moroccans commented on Facebook that they would be taken to a terminal where there would be no police, so they would not be able to prevent them from fleeing. Since the incident, all but two of the 25 Moroccans who managed to flee the plane and the airport have been arrested and are being held in Palma prison.

Police are examining the mobile phones carried by those arrested to investigate possible connections between all of them and the Facebook group.

One of the Moroccan youths while on the run posted a message on Facebook hours after escaping from the plane stating that he was on the run from the police in Mallorca after leaving the airport.

“Guys, I’m still dizzy in Spain. Police has been chasing us all morning and shooting at us with rubber bullets. My phone is about to turn off, I have 1 percent battery,” he posted.