Fight breaks out on Riyadh-Beirut flight amid heightened coronavirus fears

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A fight broke out on board a Middle East Airlines (MEA) flight from Riyadh to Beirut over the weekend, in which person coughed in the face of a Lebanese television channel’s employee amid heightened coronavirus fears, according to a statement.

The situation escalated when a passenger requested not to be filmed by the LBCI television team on board, according to a statement put out by the network.

“Sorry, if you’re filming, you can’t be filming,” a female passenger is heard saying in Arabic in a video published by the network. “We are passengers and we have our own privacy.”

“I’m not filming you, sit down,” the person filming responded.

Some of the team members, who were wearing white hazmat suits, began recording videos on their phones when the plane landed to reportedly “document the preventative measures they were taking while traveling” during the coronavirus outbreak, according to LBCI’s statement.

A verbal exchange led to a physical confrontations. Then, a man reportedly coughed in another person’s face, according to the statement.

The novel coronavirus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

LBCI said the filming crew was flying back from Saudi Arabia after completing a media assignment in the Kingdom.

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