A Sunwing flight bound for Panama has returned to Toronto with a fighter jet escort, reportedly after threats from a passenger.
About 45 minutes into the Friday morning flight, according to Talk Radio AM640, an agitated passenger made a direct threat against the plane.
“The aircraft turned around approximately 45 minutes into the flight over West Virginia when an agitated customer made a direct threat against the aircraft,” Sunwing spokesperson Janine Chapman in a media release.
The scene back on the ground made for high drama as tactical officers stormed the plane.
In a passenger video obtained by CTV News, heavily armed police are seen storming Flight 772 yelling, "Heads down, hands up!" at passengers.
A passenger, CTV notes, was taken into custody. Peel police have charged Ali Shahi with uttering threats and endangering the safety of an aircraft. The RCMP said its national security enforcement team is assisting with the investigation.
The plane was carrying 183 passengers and six crew members. Another flight, the airline added, will depart for Panama later this afternoon.
"We are pleased to advise that all customers are safe and generally in good spirits,” the airline noted in a statement. “Sunwing is providing customers with complimentary meals and other assistance while they await the official start of their vacation."
A pair of U.S. F16 fighter jets from Toledo, Ohio, were sent as a "precaution," to escort the plane back to Toronto, North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) confirmed to CBC News.
With files from The Canadian Press
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