A 33-year-old woman was cleaning excrement from her one-year-old son over a sink inside a cabin toilet without closing the door when Beijing-bound flight KA902 was preparing to take off at 3pm on Saturday, an airline spokesman said. Her move drew complaints from the other passengers, who complained about the smell, while the "fasten seatbelts" sign remained in effect. The woman and her partner, a 34-year-old man, refused to finish cleaning the infant and return to their seats when approached by members of the flight crew, the spokesman said. The inflight service manager then alerted the captain, who requested the trio to leave the plane at 4.30pm on the grounds of maintaining cabin hygiene, the interest of other passengers and the physical condition of the boy. But the duo refused to yield to their calls, prompting the airline’s operational staff to call for police assistance at about 4.55pm. The pair finally agreed to leave the flight after police officers stepped in. The case was later settled and no one was arrested, police said. The flight eventually took off at about 5.40pm. In a twist to the saga on Tuesday, the Beijing News quoted the mother as saying that flight attendants had speculated about whether the boy may have had been suffering from Ebola. The newspaper quoted other passengers as saying the flight attendants had mentioned the deadly virus during the argument. However, the Dragonair office on the mainland denied to the paper that the trio had been requested to leave the plane was because of fears about the Ebola virus. A spokeswoman for Dragonair in Hong Kong told the South China Morning Post the Ebola virus, as well as other diseases including bird flu and influenza, were mentioned in a general health announcement to all passengers. The woman said in the newspaper report that she still did not know the specific reasons over why they were requested to leave the plane. She said: “My son is 18 months old – relieving himself is unavoidable … The flight attendants asked me why I didn’t close the door - I just didn’t have time.” A witness was quoted as saying the woman was tearful when she left and had apologised to the passengers. Two mainland Chinese passengers and an infant were removed from a Dragonair flight at Chek Lap Kok airport after refusing to leave the toilet and return to their seats, in a saga that saw the flight being delayed for more than two-and-a-half hours. A picture taken by one passenger showed uniformed officers handling the case in the cabin, while other passengers took pictures and videos. The trio were put onto another Dragonair flight later in the day, the spokesman said. The airlines spokesman on Monday apologised to passengers affected by the disruption. This is the third reported air incident concerning mainland Chinese travellers on inbound or outbound flights within a week. On February 24, a mainland couple and their three-year-old son were ejected from a Hong Kong-bound Cathay Pacific flight after the toddler’s refusal to put on his seatbelt sparked off a heated argument on the plane. The incident happened minutes before CX654 was scheduled to take off from Bangkok, Thailand. The boy apparently refused to sit in his seat and wear a seatbelt. Flight attendants asked the family to follow standard safety instructions, but the parents refused and argued that the boy should sit on his mother’s lap instead. The flight was delayed by 27 minutes. On February 23 there was a similar incident on another flight returning to Hong Kong from Bali, Indonesia. The Hong Kong Airlines crew had to call police when the plane landed at Chek Lap Kok airport after a mainland Chinese boy, aged 3, refused to remain in his seat. The boy’s grandparent carried the boy despite the cabin crew’s insistence that the child should sit in his own seat and wear a seatbelt.