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Heiress arrested for 'nut rage' tantrum on flight

She took exception to being served macadamia nuts she had not asked for.

Cho Huyn-Ah, centre, surrounded by reporters before leaving for the prison today.
Cho Huyn-Ah, centre, surrounded by reporters before leaving for the prison today.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

KOREAN AIR HEIRESS Cho Hyun-Ah was arrested today for delaying a flight with a tantrum over snacks in a “nut rage” incident that caused an uproar.

Cho has been accused of forcing the chief flight attendant off a New York-Seoul flight earlier this month, and of compelling the taxiing plane to return to the gate so he could disembark.

She had taken exception to being served macadamia nuts she had not asked for — and in a bag, not a bowl.

She has denied physically assaulting the chief flight attendant, who says she made him kneel and beg for forgiveness.

The flight attendant was fired after disembarking, but has since been reinstated.

South Koea Korean Air Nut Rage Cho Huyn-Ah, centre, arrives at the prosecutor office today. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Cable news network YTN showed Cho as she was taken by prosecutors to prison. The 40-year-old kept her head low and said “I’m sorry” as she left the building, broadcast footage showed.

The prosecutors’ office had applied for an arrest warrant last week — this was finally granted by a court in Seoul late on Tuesday, Yonhap news agency said.

Cho was charged with violation of the aviation safety law, coercion and interference in the execution of duty.

An unidentified KAL executive was also arrested today on charges of destroying evidence from the incident.

South Korea Korean Air Nut Rage Cho Huyn-Ah surrounded by reporters outside the prosecutor office today. Source: Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo

Cho — one of three children of Korean Air boss Cho Yang-Ho, the patriarch of business conglomerate Hanjin Group — has publicly apologised and resigned from all her posts in the organisation.

Her father has also apologised for his daughter’s ‘foolish act’.

The transport ministry has vowed to sanction the airline with a flight ban that could last for up to a month, or with fines of up to $2 million (€1.6 million).

However the investigation into the incident has also been tainted with scandal.

A ministry investigator was arrested last week for leaking details of the investigation to KAL officials.

- © AFP, 2014

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