An unruly passenger forced an Air Canada flight to London's Heathrow airport from Vancouver to make an unscheduled landing in Halifax early Tuesday.
The Boeing 777 aircraft left Vancouver airport at 6:30 p.m. local time and had to make the stop at Halifax's Stanfield International Airport at 5:15 a.m. AT for about an hour.
RCMP Cpl. Scott MacRae said the plane was somewhere over Newfoundland — about six hours into the flight — when it was forced to turn back and land in Halifax.
He said a 51-year-old Vancouver man became unruly on the flight, throwing water on passengers and crew. The man was also uttering threats toward the crews and acting "strangely" while at the same time ignoring the crew's attempts to calm him.
He said the passenger was removed from the plane and arrested. The man was then taken to hospital to be assessed.
MacRae said police take these situations very seriously.
“It’s not common, but it’s certainly not uncommon," he said. "Flights have certainly been diverted to Halifax in the past for a range of activities including people being too intoxicated, people assaulting other passengers or crew, or other behaviours.
"When this happens, it causes a lot of inconvenience for passengers, costs are incurred by airlines, and [there's] a disruption, of course, at our airports.”
The matter is still under investigation.
A look at the rail crossing earlier Tuesday morning as lights were flashing but the gates remained up.
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