Flight grounded over smoking family

Feb. 3, 2013 at 11:59 AM
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HAMILTON, Bermuda, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A Sunwing flight from Halifax, Canada, to the Dominican Republic was forced to land in Bermuda when three passengers refused to stop smoking, officials said.

Sunwing flight 454 landed in Bermuda Friday night while heading to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Police met the plane at the airport, boarded the plane and arrested three passengers, officials said.

"It appeared to be a father, a mother and a son. The parents appear to be in their 50s. The son, I believe, is around 22 or so," said acting Inspector Paul Simons.

The family has been ordered not to leave Bermuda and their passports and travel documents have been seized by local police, CBC said.

Dave Shellington said his wife was on the plane and sent him text messages about the incident.

"They were smoking in the plane's washroom and when they came out they got into a little bit of an argument with the attendants. They couldn't say where they put their cigarette butts and that caused a bit of a commotion, I guess. From there it kind of escalated with the father, the mother and the son," said Shellington

Simons said the plane was grounded overnight and that passengers were put in hotels.

"The flight was also grounded so that a Canadian-trained mechanic could inspect the aircraft for undetermined reasons," Simons said.

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