United plane from Newark stranded in Canada for 17 hours
NEWARK — A United flight from Newark to Hong Kong that made an emergency medical landing in Canada grounded passengers on the plane for 17 hours in minus-20 degree temperatures.
The plane landed at Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland, Canada around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night, according to CNN. A door broke and because there was no customs official on duty overnight, the passengers could not leave the plane.
The Goose Bay Airport is a Canadian Forces base and worked with United to bring passengers off the place once they arrived.
Wrestler Sanjay Dutt, a passenger on board flight Np. 179, chronicled the tale of the plane on his Twitter account. He was headed to Macau, China for the EWE's debut show.
"A medical emergency rerouted my plane. Landing in Goose Bay, Canada, where it’s -20. A door broke, can't fix and awaiting rescue for the last 10 hours as I sit in this place on a runway in middle of nothing Canada. We need help," Dutt tweeted around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning. He said he and his fellow passengers were "freezing" on board and the plane was running low on food.
Airport officials brought some Tim Horton snacks and donuts to the plane, according to Dutt, who said passengers were let off the plane 20 at a time and allowed into the customs area to stretch their legs.
A rescue plane arrived 17 hours after they had landed. United said the passengers arrived back in Newark at 6 p.m. Sunday night and were met by United leadership. Passengers were offered meals, hotel accommodations and compensation, according to an airline spokesperson.
"Its been a long long long long day," Dutt tweeted before leaving Canada. He said that he landed back in Newark late Sunday afternoon.
United said they apologized to the 250 passengers on board and that the crew was doing everything they could to assist the passengers.
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