A man is in police custody after he jumped out of the emergency exit of a moving plane as it was taxiing on the tarmac of Pearson International Airport.
Sunwing flight WG383 was returning from Varadero, Cuba late Sunday night when a passenger decided to "make an early exit," according to the Toronto Star, which obtained footage of flight attendants frantically dealing with the situation.
According to an eye-witness account, the man jumped from the exit, located above the right wing on the plane, before landing on the tarmac. A flight attendant then pressed what is believed to be an alarm. It wasn't until 30 to 45 seconds later that the plane fully stopped, said Ian Sansom, a passenger on the flight.
Sansom added that the following minutes were a frenzy of staff reassuring passengers and trying to notify the captain. “The flight attendants were yelling, ‘What? what? what?’ and the woman saying. ‘The door’s open, the door’s open’,” Sansom told the Globe And Mail. Afterwards, a flight attendant asked if anyone travelling with the man could identify themselves, prompting one man to step forward.
Peel Regional Police were eventually called to the airport, which straddles the border of Toronto and Mississauga.
Authorities have yet to charge the jumper or release his identity but it's believed that the 32-year-old man is from Toronto and may have a mental illness. Police instead are holding him under the Mental Health Act, the Brampton Guardian reports. He was later transported to a nearby hospital for mental assessment and did not suffer any injuries from his fall.
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TORONTO - A man flying into Toronto shocked his fellow passengers when he jumped from a moving plane at Pearson International airport early Monday.
The 32-year-old Toronto man was on a Sunwing flight returning from Cuba when the incident took place just after midnight.
The plane landed safely and was taxiing towards its gate when the man opened an emergency exit and jumped, said Peel Regional Police, who were called to the scene.
"The door opened and somebody on the plane had to yell out that this gentleman had opened the door," said Const. Fiona Thivierge.
"Luckily, he was not injured."
Ground crews who were around the plane at the time held the man until police arrived, said Thivierge.
It was discovered the man had mental health issues and he was taken to a local hospital.
No charges have been laid.
"There's no criminality involved, it all comes under the Mental Health Act," said Thivierge, adding that this was the first such incident of its kind to her knowledge.