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An Air Canada Flight To Montreal Had To Disembark After Passengers Got A Fake Bomb Threat

Some passengers were sent ominous images via AirDrop.

Associate Editor
Phony AirDropped bomb threat. Right: Air Canada aircraft.

Phony AirDropped bomb threat. Right: Air Canada aircraft.

Courtesy of Ariane Brouillette, Tom Samworth | Dreamstime

An Air Canada flight from Punta Cana to Montreal was cancelled before takeoff on Tuesday after some passengers received ominous images sent on their iPhones via AirDrop. One of the images was a cartoon bomb about to explode.

In an email shared with MTL Blog, Air Canada media relations director Pascale Dery confirmed the "security threat" but said that, after an investigation, it was determined to be "non-credible."

Still, the messages were enough to cause panic on the plane, according to Ariane Brouillette, a Montrealer who was on board flight AC1297.

"People were crying," Brouillette told MTL Blog, noting she was sitting on the plane for around two hours while the incident was being sorted out. "Even if it was a joke — for us, on the plane, we didn't know. I [thought I] could die."

Brouillette said she looked out the window and saw police and detection dogs before hearing an announcement asking passengers to take their belongings and exit the plane.

According to Air Canada, "out of an abundance of caution," passengers and baggage were made to disembark and re-pass through security.

However, the flight was eventually cancelled, which Dery said was "due to the delays caused by this incident, particularly because the crew had exceeded the duty time permitted by law." Affected passengers were rescheduled on other flights.

Air Canada said it has notified Transport Canada of this event as required.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

This article’s right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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