Canada is providing consular assistance to a Canadian citizen who was taken into custody last week after Thai authorities say the person opened an emergency door on a Thai Airways plane.
“Global Affairs Canada is aware of the arrest of a Canadian citizen in Thailand. Consular officials are providing consular service,” said a spokesperson for Global Affairs in a statement to Global News on Sunday when asked about the specific case.
“Due to privacy considerations, no further information can be disclosed.”
The local TV station ThaiPBS identified the passenger as a Canadian man.
His lawyer told the broadcaster he admitted to opening the door last Thursday because he thought “people were coming after him.”
“From his behaviour, it’s likely he was hallucinating,” Jirawat Yarnkiatpakdee said in an interview with ThaiPBS.
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The flight was departing Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and heading for the capital Bangkok.
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Thai officials say things went sideways, as the aircraft was preparing for takeoff.
The Canadian passenger opened the emergency door, which caused the inflatable slide to activate.
Witnesses described scenes of mayhem on social media.
“The whole plane was in chaos,” wrote passenger Ananya Tiangtae on Facebook.
“What if we were 30,000 feet above sea level? What would happen?” Ananya added.
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A Chiang Mai airport spokesperson told Reuters that the aircraft returned to the terminal, passengers got off the plane and technicians carried out safety inspections.
The disturbance affected more than a dozen flights.
The Thai Airways plane was eventually cleared for takeoff.
— with files from Saba Aziz and Reuters
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