Korean Air Lines said it will allow crew members to "readily use stun guns" to manage in-flight disturbances, after coming in for criticism from US singer Richard Marx for its handling of an incident involving a violent passenger.
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The South Korean carrier also said on Tuesday it will beef up security training of crew members. Last week, Marx took to social media to criticise the airline for failing to subdue a chaotic event.
You will be hearing about our flight#480 on @KoreanAir_KE . Passenger next to us attacked passengers and crew. Crew completely ill trained.— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) December 20, 2016
@KoreanAir_KE completely ill-equipped to handle potentially deadly situation. Passenger mentally unhinged attacking crew and passengers #480— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) December 20, 2016
Marx's wife, Daisy Fuentes, who was with the singer during the flight from Vietnam to South Korea, posted her experience on Instagram.
Korean Air Lines said on Tuesday its crew members are "hesitant" to use taser guns, because they are permitted for use on only "grave" situations which jeopardise the life of a passenger or crew member or the safety of a flight.
"We have decided to improve our conditions and procedure on using Taser guns to cope with violent acts and disturbances on board in a fast and efficient manner," it said in a statement, without elaborating on how it would revise the rules.
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However, a spokesman said the changes would ease conditions on using Taser guns so that crew can "readily use stun guns".
Marx tweeted his approval for the action.
It's a start. https://t.co/lVNpthVN4K— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) December 27, 2016
In South Korea, the number of unlawful acts committed aboard airplanes has more than tripled over the past five years, according to government data.
Video footage of the recent incident posted on YouTube showed a young man in a business class seat spat and swore at crew members trying to restrain him with a rope.
On Monday, the passenger appeared for questioning by police, wearing a mask, thick-rimmed glasses and a hat. He apologised for his behavior but said he could not remember what had happened, according to video shown by broadcaster SBS.
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