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‘He definitely wanted to die’: Passenger on Edmonton-bound flight describes incident
Published Wednesday, August 31, 2016 5:30PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 31, 2016 7:26PM MDT
There were tense moments for passengers and crew on an overnight Edmonton-bound Westjet flight that ended with one man in handcuffs, a passenger who helped the crew subdue the unruly passenger told CTV News what he saw.
Steven Kelly told CTV News he was sitting four rows back from the cockpit of the Boeing 737 when a man wearing a backpack walked from the back of the plane, to the front, twice during the last half of the four hour flight.
“He definitely wanted to get out of that plane, he definitely wanted to die,” Kelly said.
Kelly said the man approached the flight attendant each time, and asked to get off the plane while it was still in the air.
“When he came up the second time, I knew right away that there was something, that something was going to happen,” Kelly said.
More than one hundred people were on board the plane at the time, Kelly said the flight attendant asked for help, and he and some other passengers stepped in - Kelly said he helped physically subdue the passenger.
“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,” Kelly said.
RCMP said Wednesday that a 20-year-old man was arrested early that morning, after causing a disturbance on a flight. The individual was taken into custody without incident once the plane landed. Police are investigating.
According to Kelly, another passenger said the man had spent the first three hours of the flight praying, but it wasn’t clear exactly what his motivation was.
“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.”
Westjet declined an interview with CTV News Wednesday, but a spokesperson confirmed 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.
With files from Shanelle Kaul