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More than 20 suspected migrants flee from plane after it lands in Mallorca

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
More than 20 suspected migrants flee from plane after it lands in Mallorca
Copyright  Joan Mateu/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Police on the Spanish island of Mallorca have rounded up 12 people who fled from a plane after it made an emergency landing.

They included nine who illegally left the plane, the person who was said to be sick, the person's companion, and a person who was arrested for fighting with an official on the plane.

They've all been charged with facilitating illegal immigration.

It appeared to be an elaborate scheme to enter Spain by would-be migrants from Morocco.

According to aircraft tracker FlightRadar24, the plane was an Air Arabia Maroc flight between Casablanca and Istanbul.

When an ambulance arrived to take off an allegedly ill passenger after it had landed on Mallorca, 23 passengers are believed to have fled from the plane in total.

The airport's runways were then closed until some of them were detained.

At least eleven of the migrants are believed to still be at large.

"All fronts (for the investigation) are open at this moment and there is no information that allow us to affirm that it is act of unauthorised immigration carried out in a plot,'' a government official on the Balearic Islands, Aina Calvo said.

"What is unprecedented is that a person feels sick and...21 people jump onto the airstrip and start running around, because that puts air traffic in jeopardy.''