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.
More From The Canadian Press
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.
Earlier on HuffPost:
It's a good idea to wait until everyone's fully seated on the plane before getting intoxicated. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/08/21/calgary-oil-executive-flight-disruption.html" target="_hplink">Justin Neil Frank, a 35-year-old Calgary man was arrested after forcing an Air Canada flight from London to Calgary back in August.</a> CBC reports Frank was drunk when he boarded the plane and kept drinking throughout — that is, when he wasn't walking down the aisles claiming to be an oil executive (he works as a rig service electrician). He was later tied down to his seat with duct tape and straps and arrested by the RCMP when the flight landed in Edmonton.
In late August, a United Airlines flight en route to Geneva, Switzerland from Newark, New Jersey was forced to divert in Boston because of an... ordinary camera. Well, to be fair, police and airline crew thought the unclaimed camera could potentially be a bomb, which is <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/07/flight-diverted-over-unclaimed-camera/" target="_hplink">why the 169 people on board had to be removed from the plane</a> while bomb technicians disposed of the camera.
A Bad Joke
The most recent restriction to flying has been the limitation of liquids, gels and aerosols to containers no greater than 100 ml or 100 grams. Combine this with a prank call and you've got the fixings for a bomb scare. Last September, a passenger was victim of a bomb hoax when someone called <a href="http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2012-09-06/Philadelphia-to-Dallas-flight-returns-to-airport/57629992/1" target="_hplink">police at Philadelphia International Airport informing them that a passenger was "carrying a dangerous substance"</a>, as reported by USA Today. The passenger's name matched with someone on board a flight bound to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The plane was forced to return to Philadelphia where police arrested the passenger, only to release him after realizing he had done nothing wrong.
A Prayer Box
Back in January of 2010, a US Airways flight leaving New York and heading to Louisville, Kentucky had to divert to Philadelphia due to a misunderstanding over a teenager's prayer box. The 17-year-old Jewish boy was flying with his sister when he started using his <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583542,00.html" target="_hplink">tefillin, a set of small black boxes containing biblical passages that are attached to leather straps, attaching one box to his head and the other to his arm</a>, according to Fox News. Crew members of the flight questioned the boy but weren't able to get a "clear response" and asked the plane to turn back to Philadelphia for a more thorough investigation.
What can only be interpreted as a big misunderstanding is also the reason why a partially blind 86-year-old-man caused a Spirit Airlines flight from California to Florida to be diverted to Houston back in July. The man, who <a href="http://www.canada.com/health/Police+Partially+blind+scared+unruly+aboard+Spirit+flight+diverted/6905688/story.html" target="_hplink">only spoke French, became unruly and started swinging at passengers because he was "scared,"</a> reports Canada.com
Medical Help From Obama
Back in May, a French woman managed to divert a US Airways flight from Paris to North Carolina after claiming she had been surgically implanted with a device. Flight 787 landed in Bangor International Airport unexpectedly after Lucie Zeeko Marigot, 41, said <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/us-airways-flight-diverte_n_1539618.html" target="_hplink">she had something inside of her that was "out of control" and was travelling to the U.S. to seek medical help from President Barack Obama and the American people</a>. Marigot was never charged by U.S. authorities but was sent back to France, according to U.S. Attorney, Thomas Delahanty II.
Flight Attendant Squabble
What was supposed to be a normal flight from North Carolina to Chicago resulted in a diversion after a fight broke out between two flight attendants on board a United Airlines plane. Raleigh-Durham International Airport <a href="http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/flight-attendant-tiff-forces-plane-diversion-again/story-e6frfq80-1226482329909" target="_hplink">received an early morning call from the pilot of Flight 1214, saying that there was an assault on board</a>, according to News.com, when it was actually a verbal argument between two stewards. When the plane returned to North Carolina, the attendants were removed and the plane was restaffed.