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Peel Police were called to Toronto’s Pearson airport early Monday after a passenger jumped out of an emergency exit while the plane was still taxiing to the gate. Constable Erin Cooper said police received a call just after 12 a.m. Monday morning, saying that a 32-year-old Toronto man had made an ‘early exit’ out of a Sunwing plane that had just arrived at Pearson Airport from Varadero, Cuba

Ian Sansom

Peel Police were called to Toronto's Pearson airport early Monday after a passenger jumped out of an emergency exit while the plane was still taxiing to the gate.

Constable Erin Cooper said police received a call just after 12 a.m. Monday morning, saying that a 32-year-old Toronto man had made an "early exit" out of a Sunwing plane that had just arrived at Pearson International Airport from Varadero, Cuba.

The man wasn't injured in the incident, she said, and officers arrested the man, who is believed to have mental health issues.

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Ian Sansom, a passenger on the flight, said the trip was uneventful until the aircraft landed in Toronto. The plane was still moving and just minutes from the gate, he said, when "some woman in the back yelled 'the door's open, someone just jumped out.'"

He said the shouting was followed by a few minutes of frenzied activity, with flight attendants running back and forth trying to determine what had happened and notify the captain. "The flight attendants were yelling, 'What? what? what?' and the woman saying. 'The door's open, the door's open'."

The door that the passenger jumped out of was an over-the-wing exit on the right-hand side of the aircraft, he said.

It's unclear whether an emergency slide was deployed, or how fast the aircraft was moving when the incident happened.

Afterwards, Mr. Sansom said, a flight attendant made an announcement in the cabin. "Basically, they said, 'Anyone travelling with the man who decided to leave the aircraft early, can you identify yourself?' " One man stepped forward as a result of the announcement, he said.

And though he called it a "horrible end to a great vacation," Mr. Sansom said he was just thankful that the man, and everyone else on the flight, was all right. "Thank God he didn't do it when were in the air," he said.

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