A plane that landed in Malta due to a medical emergency on Tuesday morning ended up stuck for hours after two of its passengers attempted to escape.

The Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Algiers was forced to deviate and land at Malta International Airport at 8.26am after a passenger reported feeling unwell.

A medical team boarded the plane to tend to the passenger. But then things took an odd turn.

Two other passengers exited the plane and ran onto the airport apron, in an apparent attempt to escape into Malta.

They were quickly apprehended by airport security staff and then detained by the police, sources told Times of Malta.

The deviated flight also had to contend with another issue: four other passengers, children who were travelling with the unwell one, refused to continue the flight.

As authorities pressured them to continue their journey, the plane’s captain refused to take off with the children aboard, saying they were agitated and posed a risk to other passengers.

Ultimately, none of those passengers continued the flight, which resumed its onward journey at around 11am. The passenger who reported a medical emergency was taken to Mater Dei Hospital for treatment and observation. 

Sources told Times of Malta that it was not the first time that planes heading to African destinations have been forced to land in Malta in recent weeks as a result of passengers reporting a medical emergency.  

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