The management of Cam Ranh International Airport in central Vietnam said it has suspended a security officer for slapping a Chinese passenger on the back during an unusual chaotic scene there on Monday.
Phan Le Hoan, the airport’s director, said a Vietnam Airlines flight to Shanghai, China was delayed on Monday afternoon as the airport had to coordinate with the overloaded Shanghai airport for a new schedule.
A number of Chinese passengers were upset after waiting for three hours since 5 p.m. and they started screaming, jumping onto the seats in the waiting area and causing disorder, Hoan said.
The director said camera footage showed that a security officer, named Nguyen Van Thai, hit one of the Chinese passengers on the back after the man refused to sit down.
Hoan said Thai had been suspended pending further punitive measures.
The airport director made the comments after several Chinese websites said some Chinese passengers were beaten and demanded to pay bribes at the Cam Ranh International Airport on Monday.
The reports said many Chinese passengers were not satisfied with the attitude and behavior of the airport staff over the delay of around five hours, and that one even lost a cellphone after having his luggage checked.
But Hoan said there was no beating, other than the slapping incident.
The passenger who lost the phone later found out that his child had it, he said.
Immigration officers also dismissed the bribery accusations.
Hoan also apologized for his earlier statements on Wednesday afternoon, when he insisted that that there was no beating of any passengers at all.
“That information was inaccurate due to dishonest and inadequate reports from my staff. I only had enough evidence about the slapping incident on Wednesday night," he said.
He said the airport is looking for the Chinese passenger in the incident to apologize to him.
There has been growing interest for the beach town of Nha Trang, 36 kilometers to the north of Cam Ranh International Airport, among Chinese tourists. The airport currently receives around 2,000 Chinese passengers every day, Hoan said.
Cam Ranh, the district, is also famous for a beautiful bay.