TORONTO — A WestJet flight headed to Toronto was forced to make an unexpected stop in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Saturday after a passenger allegedly made a bomb threat.
The plane travelling from Vancouver landed at Thunder Bay international airport around 5 p.m. and was quickly evacuated, a spokesman for the airline said.
“It was an extreme resolution to an extreme situation,” Robert Palmer said in an interview Sunday.
“Safety is our Number One priority, we’re not going to take any chances.”
The Ontario provincial police bomb squad searched the aircraft overnight and deemed it safe.
The passenger, a 27-year-old man, is being held for a medical assessment but will not be charged, Thunder Bay police said in a statement Sunday.
The man, who is Portuguese, has a history of mental illness and became agitated during the flight, to the point where he had to be restrained, police said.
“There was a concern that he may have made utterances regarding a bomb as he was escorted off the aircraft,” the statement read.
“A subsequent investigation revealed a language issue with the man.”
Police said they expect the man and his father will be returned to Portugal after an immigration investigation.
Dozens of passengers on the diverted flight arrived in Toronto on an early Sunday morning flight, Palmer said.
The remainder followed suit in the afternoon.