NEWARK, N.J. — A United Airlines flight was diverted to a Canada airport, leaving passengers stranded for over 13 hours on board.
United Airlines Flight 179 was scheduled to travel from Newark Liberty International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport when it was diverted to Goose Bay Airport in Canada due to a medical emergency on board
According to a United Airlines spokesperson, the flight was diverted because of a medical emergency onboard the flight.
“United Flight 179 traveling from Newark Liberty International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport diverted to Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland, Canada due to a medical emergency onboard. Medical personnel met the aircraft at the gate and the customer was transported to a local hospital. Prior to departure, the aircraft experienced a mechanical issue. The airport did not have customs officers overnight so we were not able to let customers depart the aircraft. An alternative aircraft is being flown in to transport customers back to Newark. We apologize to our customers and our crew is doing everything possible to assist them during the delay.”
Canadian Forces Base and border control does not work overnight, so customers were not able to depart the aircraft, sources said. Food was delivered to the aircraft and crews onboard the flight did whatever they could to assist passengers.
The plane was unable to take off due to a mechanical problem, forcing passengers to be stranded onboard the plane in below freezing temperatures for hours.
Professional wrestler Sonjay Dutt was on board and tweeted about the ordeal, describing the cold weather and conditions passengers dealt with.
A replacement plane has since been issued, and the flight is expected to return passengers to Newark Airport.