Drunken ladies force Canada flight to land

TORONTO — Two Canadian women are facing charges after authorities say they drank their duty free alcohol in the flight’s bathroom, triggered the fire alarm with a cigarette and got into a fight each other, forcing a Sunwing flight bound for Cuba to return to Toronto under a military escort.

Peel Region police Thursday said Lilia Ratmanski, 25, and Milana Muzikante, 26, have been charged with smoking on board an aircraft and endangering its safety.

The airline said the flight had left Toronto late Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 when it was disrupted by “two unruly female passengers.”

Sunwing vice-president Janine Chapman said the passengers had consumed a “significant quantity of their duty-free alcohol purchase in the lavatory.”

She said they lit a cigarette, triggering the smoke alarm, and “proceeded to get into a physical altercation with each other and made a threat against the aircraft.”

NORAD said it scrambled two CF-18 fighter jets based out of Bagotville, Quebec, to escort Flight 656 back to Toronto.

Major Julie Roberge, a spokeswoman for NORAD based in Colorado Springs, Colo., said the CF-18s met the aircraft at the Canadian border and did not venture into American airspace.

She said the pilot had decided to turn the plane around over South Carolina and “that’s when NORAD got involved,” adding there was no escort in U.S. airspace.

Roberge said the aircraft landed at Toronto’s Pearson International airport at about 8:30 p.m. and that the CF-18 escort lasted just four minutes. She called the military escort a precautionary measure and a standard procedure in such incidents.

Peel Region Const. Thomas Ruttan said the entire plane “erupted in cheers” when the two were removed from the aircraft after it arrived back at Pearson. He said the pair will appear in court later Thursday for a bail hearing and will also face additional charges including mischief endangering life and uttering threats.

More in Local News

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
After a 2-year trial, are I-405’s toll lanes here to stay?

Lawmakers will decide whether to keep them or end the experiment and try something else.

Weary drivers using toll lanes say they have little choice

Congestion continues to be a tedious reality for commuters on I-405, which is as clogged as ever.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Terrace woman held following collision in Everett

The three occupants in vehicle were transported to a local hospital in serious condition.

Information sought on drive-by shooting in Everett

Debris from an apparent crash, evidence of gunfire found in the 2800 block of California Street.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Most Read