Canadian Slips Past Security to Board Flight to Brazil
An Air Canada flight to Brazil packed with World Cup fans was forced to turn back to Toronto Thursday after authorities learned that a man had sneaked onboard.
Air Canada 090 was already over the Caribbean and four hours into the flight when Transport Canada ordered its return to the Toronto International Airport, said officials and witnesses.
It was met by police who surrounded the aircraft on the tarmac and escorted a suspect off the jetliner.
The man had reportedly slipped past airport security checkpoints without being screened.
"After four hours of flight, Transport Canada ordered us to turn around and come back to Toronto. The aircraft landed at 6:30 am," an Air Canada spokesperson told Agence France Presse.
While flight 090 was ordered back, all other flights from Toronto were grounded during a frantic search for the suspect.
Officials did not offer details about the security breach.
Several of the passengers on the flight to Sao Paulo reportedly had tickets for tonight's World Cup match between England and Uruguay, and were upset that they would miss it.
"The captain came on and said, 'Good morning, you may notice that the sun is rising on the right-hand side of the plane due to the fact that we'd been diverted to Toronto,'" soccer fan Olivier Cullen told public broadcaster CBC.
"People were almost laughing because we didn't believe it," he said. Cullen had just awakened from a nap when he heard the captain's announcement.
"It was the longest flight from Toronto to Toronto that I've ever been on," he quipped.