Hamilton man charged after passenger plane makes emergency landing in Thunder Bay

The Swoop Airlines flight was originally destined to arrive in Hamilton from Edmonton, police say. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

A Hamilton man has been charged after a Swoop Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Thunder Bay, Ont., following a disturbance Sunday evening, local police say.

During the flight, which was originally destined from Edmonton to Hamilton, a smoke alarm was triggered from the plane’s restroom, according to Thunder Bay police.

Read more: Man who made fake coronavirus claim causing Toronto-Jamaica flight to return wanted to make viral video

Police say as the flight crew responded to the alarm, they saw a 47-year-old man leaving the lavatory and returning to his seat. According to officers, flight attendants also found evidence that the man had been smoking in the restroom.

Police say the man insulted and swore at the flight crew, and despite numerous requests for the man to stop, the behaviour reportedly continued.

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Swoop’s pilot was eventually forced to divert the plane to Thunder Bay, where the man was subsequently taken into custody so the flight could continue to Hamilton, officers added.

In a statement Monday evening, Swoop Airlines said the diversion resulted in the flight getting delayed by about two hours.

Read more: B.C. man arrested for smoking on plane that had to be diverted to Winnipeg

“During the remainder of the flight, our crews, both in the air and on the ground following the arrival in Hamilton, were in dialogue with the passengers onboard,” the airline said.

Based on our tariffs and the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, unruly travellers are considered outside of our control, and therefore no compensation is required. We understand the frustration of our travellers when travel does not go as planned and apologize for the inconvenience.”

A 47-year-old Hamilton man has been charged with mischief over $5,000, smoking onboard an aircraft and causing a disturbance while flying. He is expected to appear in Thunder Bay bail court on Monday.


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