Flight diverted after woman throws prosthetic leg

Odd illustrations: Pictures of prosthetic legs were used by the websites for the New York Post (top), Time (right) and the Edinburgh News with a story about a disruptive plane passenger throwing her artificial leg. Since they don't match, at least two must be generic illustrations.

A plane bound for Scotland was diverted after a disruptive woman “swearing blue murder” threw her prosthetic leg and demanded a parachute, according to reports.

After the plane landed at Gatwick Airport, outside London, on Wednesday night, the woman was arrested.

According to the Edinburgh News:

“Startled eye-witness John Smith, 48, from Falkirk, said she slapped a young girl in a neighbouring seat before unfastening her leg and swinging it at shocked stewardesses. ...

“She was then escorted from the plane by cops - as relieved passengers broke into a rousing rendition of the Hokey Cokey.”

The lyrics to the Hokey Cokey (or Hokey Pokey, as it's called in the United States) describe putting a foot in, taking it, and turning it all about.

"She was off her face on drink," Smith said.

After the fake leg was taken from her, "she started kicking them with her good leg," he also said.

Say what? Either she was holding onto something, Smith was misquoted, or somebody's pulling our leg.

“It sounds funny, but it was not a laughing matter at the time," Smith reportedly said.

She supposedly also threw food and complained about not being allowed to have cigarettes.

The official statement included that she was “a 48-year-old unemployed woman from Edinburgh.”

Thomson Airways issued an apology to passengers for the diversion of the flight from Tunisian, saying it has a “zero-tolerance policy” and such disruptions are rare.

In a related bizarre phenomenon, the websites for Time and the New York Post illustrated their stories with generic photos of prosthetic legs.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.