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Passengers Help Subdue Unruly Man On Westjet Flight

| by Zara Zhi

Passengers of an overnight flight helped the crew tame a disruptive passenger after he made threats while up in the air.

The Boeing 737 Westjet plane was en route to Edmonton, Canada, when a man wearing a backpack walked from the back of the airliner, to the front, twice within the last half of the trip. He approached the flight attendant each time and requested to get off the plane.

“When he came up the second time, I knew right away that there was something, that something was going to happen,” Steven Kelly, who was sitting four rows back from the cockpit, told CTV News.

Over 100 people were on board the plane at the time of the incident. Kelly said he and other passengers helped pacify the man after the flight attendant asked for assistance.  

“We ziptied him, and they brought him to the back of the plane where they held him for about a half hour or so until we landed,” said Kelly.

Another passenger said the man had spent the first three hours of the flight praying, according to Kelly. However, it was unclear what his intention was, reports CBC.

“The entire time he was calling us ‘non-believers,’ and if there were any believers on board, to kill him,” Kelly said.

“I don’t honestly know if he was trying to open the door. He definitely was moving towards the door; he was only a few feet away from it.”

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Aug. 31 that a 20-year-old man was detained early that morning for causing a commotion on a flight. He was taken into custody once the plane landed and authorities are investigating the event.

“He definitely wanted to get out of that plane; he definitely wanted to die,” said Kelly.

A spokesperson for Westjet verified an incident took place on board a flight “involving an unruly individual who was removed by RCMP at the request of the crew.”

The airline also confirmed there were no injuries.

A few days earlier, there was an incident on an Alaska Airlines flight where a frantic passenger tried to open a rear door mid-flight, according to CBC. The flight was going from New York City to Seattle, but had to be diverted to Minneapolis.

Sources: CTV, CBC / Photo credit: Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press via CBC

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