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Witness says child responsible for series of laser strikes affecting aircraft: RCMP

RCMP are investigating after a laser reportedly struck a WestJet flight coming into Charlottetown, PEI.
RCMP are investigating after a laser reportedly struck a WestJet flight coming into Charlottetown, PEI. Darryl Dyck / File / The Canadian Press

RCMP say a witness has come forward alleging that a child is responsible for a series of laser strikes that affected aircraft in PEI on Sunday.

Police say the witness reported that he saw a family with a young child to be playing with a green laser at Brackley Beach.

According to the man, the child pointed the laser at multiple things in the sky, including two planes that flew overhead.

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Police say that a WestJet passenger aircraft encountered the beam of light at around 11 p.m. Sunday. The light shone in the cockpit for about five to 10 seconds.

The pilot landed the plane without incident.

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RCMP say they are continuing to investigate, although they don’t know the identity of the family at this time. Transport Canada has also launched an investigation.

According to Transport Canada, lasers are dangerous to pilots as they can distract — or even blind them — as they carry out their duties.

If someone is convicted of pointing a laser at an aircraft, they could face up $100,000 in fines or five years in prison.

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RCMP are also investigating after a laser was pointed at a Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue aircraft on Saturday. They don’t know if the two incidents are connected.

The laser was reportedly green in colour and was directed at the aircraft for 15 to 20 minutes as it conducted an exercise near Fernwood, P.E.I.

RCMP are asking anyone with information to contact police at (902) 436-9300 or Crime Stoppers.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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