U.S. Flight Detained in Dominican Republic After Man Jokes He Has Ebola

Passenger escorted outside upon landing by emergency teams in protective suits, to the boos and jeers of the other passengers.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

The boy who cried wolf has been one-upped: A passenger with a questionable sense of humor brought about the holding of a U.S. Airways airplane in the Dominican Republic, after joking aloud: "I have Ebola! You are all screwed."

The U.S. Airways aircraft was boarded by emergency response teams in full HAZMAT regalia after the plane landed at the Punta Cana airport, and escorted the 54-year-old man outside.

The man, who reportedly coughed throughout the flight from Philadelphia when he made his joke, can be seen on video taken on the aircraft as he is taken away, saying "I ain't from Africa, S***," Al Arabiya News reported.

In the video, the annoyed passengers can be heard booing him as he goes.

Dominican authorities stated that an examination of the man showed he did not carry the Ebola virus. However, the plane, carrying over 200 passengers, was held in isolation for two hours.

Paola Rainieri, a spokeswoman for the company which owns the airport, said the man's comment was a "joke of poor taste."

“We don’t know why he did it, but he thought it would be a cute joke that would not be so serious. Thankfully it was only a scare,” she told The Independent.

The passenger will be taken back to the United States, where he will be submitted to further checks, Al Arabiya reported.

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