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Flight diverted to Winnipeg after passenger tries to open door

A flight from Vancouver to Toronto was diverted to Winnipeg Friday after a passenger tried to open a cabin door.

WestJet said in an email to CTV News Winnipeg that flight 710 was diverted to Winnipeg Richardson International Airport after someone tried to open the door mid-flight.

“As per standard protocol, WestJet engaged local RCMP and EMS to meet the aircraft upon arrival in Winnipeg and the guest was taken into their custody,” a WestJet spokesperson said.

The spokesperson noted it is not possible to open “secured pressurized aircraft doors at high altitudes.”

The Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) confirmed the flight was diverted around 4 p.m.

Michel Rosset, the communications manager for the WAA, said the airport is always ready for diverted flights because Winnipeg’s airport is a major hub in North America.

“Based on our role as a major airport in the middle of not just the country, but the continent as well,” said Rosset. “Manitoba is located in an area where there’s a lot of major international flights travelling between the (United) States to oversea markets- Europe, Asia, the Middle East – so we’re prepared with the infrastructure, the staffing levels are always ready for a diversion.”

WestJet said the passengers were able to finish their trip to Toronto after landing in Winnipeg.

In an email to CTV News Winnipeg, RCMP said the flight crew and other passengers were able to intervene and hold the suspect until the plane landed in Winnipeg.

An 18-year-old man from Victoria, B.C., was arrested and charged with endangering an aircraft under the Aeronatics Act.

RCMP said he was released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court on May. 23, 2024.

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