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Passenger bites flight attendant, forcing emergency landing

The male passenger, who was reportedly drunk, bit a female flight attendant, who sustained minor injuries in the incident.
Passenger bites flight attendant, forcing emergency landing
Posted at 1:40 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 13:40:57-05

An American passenger aboard a Japanese flight bit a flight attendant, forcing the U.S.-bound plane to return to Tokyo mid-flight.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Flight 118 departed Tokyo's Haneda Airport just before 10 p.m. local time Tuesday as it headed to Seattle, an airline spokesperson told CNN. The plane was forced to turn around over an hour into its journey.

The passenger, reportedly a 55-year-old American man, was "heavily drunk" when he bit the female ANA crew member, the airline told news agency Agence France-Presse. The flight attendant suffered minor injuries.

Japanese media reports the man was arrested by police when the plane returned to Tokyo. The passenger, who was not named, told police he had taken a sleeping pill and could not recall what happened.

In a statement provided to various news outlets, ANA said the plane turned around because the passenger had been "acting in an unsafe manner to the flight crew and passengers."

"The safety and security of our passengers and employees are our top priority, and we will take all necessary actions to ensure it," the airline said. 

The incident is among a few in recent days involving ANA, whose plane's wingtip — in a separate incident — clipped a Delta plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, but no injuries were reported.

On Saturday, another ANA jet was forced to return to Japan’s northern airport of Sapporo after a crack was found in the cockpit window while in flight. The cause of the crack is under investigation.

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