Frantic passengers call police after four hours stuck on Air Transat plane on runway

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Desperate passengers called police after being stuck in a plane on a Canadian runway for four hours.

Customers reported unbearable heat as they waited on the tarmac, one passenger even vomiting as babies cried and staff refused requests to disembark, according to Canada’s CTV News.

The Air Transat flight from Brussels to Montreal had been diverted to Ottawa International Airport on Monday afternoon due to severe weather. It landed at 5.10pm.

By 9pm, overheated passengers who said they’d been left without food, water or air conditioning placed calls to 911 to beg for emergency relief.

A full response was activated, including police, paramedics, and the airport’s emergency response unit, according to the airport which said on its Twitter page that it was “disappointed” with the airline.

“We made arrangements for bottled water to be delivered to the aircraft and distributed … We also offered to bring fans to the aircraft to help cool it,” said the airport authority. 

It added that a “frantic passenger” whose dog was in cargo had to be reassured by officers who went to give water to the animal.

Whether or not passengers are removed from a plane that has been waiting on the tarmac is up to the airline, said the airport.

Furious customers took to Twitter to vent their anger, with one posting footage as a tannoy announcement asked whoever had called the police to “present themselves” at the front of the plane.

Air Transat responded to complaints to say the “unusual situation” was “beyond our control”.

There was “exceptional traffic” on the runway as 30 flights were diverted, said a spokesman.

“As a result, Ottawa airport staff were unable to provide loading bridges or stairs that would have enabled the passengers on the Brussels flight to disembark or our ground crews to replenish the aircraft’s empty drinking water reservoir,” he said.

The lack of air conditioning was down to a fuel shortage, he added.

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