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United pilots: Dragged passenger not our fault

This Sunday, April 9, 2017, image made from a video provided by Audra D. Bridges shows a passenger being removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago. Video of police officers dragging the passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight sparked an uproar Monday on social media, and a spokesman for the airline insisted that employees had no choice but to contact authorities to remove the man. (Audra D. Bridges via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) - United Airlines pilots want it known that they had nothing to do with the incident in which a passenger was violently dragged off a United Express plane in Chicago.

In a statement, the pilots union says that the forcible removal of Dr. David Dao by O'Hare International Airport security officials happened Sunday night on a United Express carrier that is "separately owned and operated by Republic Airline."

The union says United pilots were not flying the jet and that the four who were given the seats of Dao and three other passengers who were ordered off the plane work for Republic, not United.

They say they are "infuriated" by what happened and blamed the debacle on the "grossly inappropriate" actions of the security officers.

United CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized to Dao and the other passengers on the aircraft.

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