U.S. fighter jets escort Canadian plane home over passenger threat

Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:55pm EDT

(Reuters) - Two U.S. F16 fighter jets were scrambled to escort a Panama City-bound flight from Canada back to Toronto on Friday after a man on the plane apparently threatened to blow up the aircraft, authorities said.

Major Julie Roberge of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said the jets flew up to join Sunwing Airlines flight 772 as a "precaution" less than an hour after it took off from Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

Video shot by a passenger showed armed Canadian law enforcement officers shouting "heads down, hands up" as they stormed aboard the aircraft in helmets and tactical gear after it was escorted back to Toronto.

Local media said a 25-year-old Canadian man was arrested on suspicion of threatening the aircraft. Toronto's City News quoted one passenger as saying the suspect became angry after learning that the duty-free items he wanted were not for sale.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sandra Maler)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
swedefinn wrote:
Um,

A lot of good two F16s’ could do for the passengers. Maybe a sky marshal on board but really, a pair of F16s’?

Jul 25, 2014 11:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AnotherNobody wrote:
@swedefinn

Do you really think the F16s are there to protect the passengers?

Jul 26, 2014 7:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.