A passenger aboard a Delta flight recalled the harrowing moment his plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Newfoundland after a man who had allegedly been violent broke free from the crew restraining him.
Delta Flight 97 was en route to Detroit from Paris when the captain made the announcement they would be landing on the Canadian island at the private airport used during 9/11 due to an ‘unruly passenger.’
Nicolas Fougere told Dailymail.com he was shocked and became worried after hearing the announcement said he wondered how serious it had to be for the plane to be landing long before their final destination.
‘We knew that something bad had happened but we didn’t think it was that serious for someone to have to be taken off the flight before getting to the final destination,’ he said. ‘I was very worried for that hour before we landed. We were all relieved when he was taken off the plane.’
The plane landed at Stephenville Dymond Airport on Friday afternoon and the 34-year-old passenger was taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His identity has not been released it’s unclear what charges he faces.
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Nicolas Fougere was on Delta Flight 97 from Paris, France to Detroit, Michigan when it was forced to make an emergency landing in Newfoundland because of an unruly passenger
Fougere shared a video with Dailymail.com of the man being marched down the aisle and off the Airbus A330-300 plane which had 261 passengers onboard
The plane landed at Stephenville Dymond Airport on Friday afternoon and the 34-year-old passenger was taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His identity has not been released it’s unclear what charges he faces
Fougere said the person sitting next to him on the plane had tried to go to the bathroom when she witnessed the man arguing with another passenger. She was told by the crew to go to a different bathroom.
The crew attempted to restrain the man, who was allegedly being ‘violent’ on the flight and ‘wouldn’t calm down’ on the trip from Paris’ airport Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France.
But the man broke free from the crew’s restraints and tried to flee down the aisle but was stopped by several passengers who tackled him.
‘Who knows what would’ve happened if they had not stepped in,’ he said. ‘I’m just very thankful for those people and for the crew.’
For the next hour, the passengers of the Delta flight waited anxiously to land in Newfoundland.
‘It was an hour, but felt quite a bit longer,’ Fougere said.
Stephenville Dymond Airport was a landing spot for planes on September 11 after North American airspace was shut down
The emergency diversion was made six hours into the flight and landed at Stephenville Dymond Airport on the Canadian island of Newfoundland at around 3.35pm.
Fougere shared a video with Dailymail.com of the man being marched down the aisle and off the Airbus A330-300 plane which had 261 passengers onboard.
‘What am I under arrest for?’ he is heard asking in the video.
Fougere said he also heard the man telling other passengers in a bit of a sarcastic tone: ‘Oh apparently I’m a threat to everyone on this plane.’
The man was led off the plane and down the stairs where he was greeted and taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Randy Alexander, a local Newfoundland man posted photos of the emergency landing that showed authorities escorting the man off the plane.
The flight then took off for Detroit about 90 minutes later to the relief of the passengers.
Fougere said that despite the delays, his fellow passengers were just relieved the man was off the plane.
‘Everybody on the plane just very understanding,’ he said. ‘We were safe and that’s what mattered.’
A spokesman for Delta said: ‘Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior, especially when it potentially compromises the safety of our customers and flight crew.
‘This unruly customer was removed at Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, and remanded to the custody of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.’
The emergency diversion was made six hours into the flight and landed at Stephenville Dymond Airport on the Canadian island of Newfoundland at around 3.35pm
More video from the flight showed the man being hauled off the plane on Friday
He was restrained by airline staff but managed to break free before five to six passengers jumped in to restrain him again
Stephenville Dymond Airport in Newfoundland has been in the headlines before, notably on 9/11 when several planes made unscheduled landings after North American airspace was closed. The town hosted about 3,000 passengers for a week after the attacks.
Unruly passengers can risk the safety of others on board a flight so unscheduled landings are not uncommon.
A United flight was forced to turn back three hours into its journey in April after a ‘disruptive’ passenger sat in an attendant’s seat and began screaming at the crew.
In February, an American Airlines flight made an emergency landing after a passenger who was denied a drink charged towards the cockpit.
And a ‘drunk’ and ‘aggressive’ woman, onboard a flight heading to Las Vegas, was ordered off the plane last month over disorderly behavior and screamed at other passengers.