Calgary police escort unruly passengers identified as Russian hockey team members off international flight

Calgary police were called to the Calgary International Airport Friday night to help remove multiple passengers from a scheduled flight.

The call came in around 5:45 p.m., when a disturbance was reported on an Air Canada flight.

In a statement, police said “passengers were being asked to deplane due to a disturbance involving multiple passengers in the aircraft cabin.”

Police confirmed to Global News alcohol was involved.

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Passengers aboard the plane were tweeting about the delayed flight and identified the offenders as members of the Russian Junior World Hockey Team, which was in Alberta for the 2022 World Junior Championship.

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Kathleen Scherf was seated in business class, near who she said she believed to be two Russian coaches.

“They were very difficult for the flight attendants to handle,” she told Global News.

“They wouldn’t stay in their seat. They wouldn’t keep the mask on. One of them was vaping… They both had loud music coming out of their iPhones — like not head phones, but playing — and they kept getting up to hug each other.”

Scherf said the flight had been sitting on the tarmac, delayed for over an hour and a half, when police swarmed the plane and all the passengers were asked to get off.

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“I’ve never been in a situation where there was a security de-planing. So it was quite interesting and just really shocking that these young people held up hundreds of passengers… I didn’t have a connecting flight but others did, which they missed. There were tons of kids on the flight, scores of crew would have been affected by this just because they were being testosterone-filled young men.”

A short time later, most passengers were re-boarded and the flight took off.

The International Ice Hockey Federation cancelled the remainder of the tournament on Dec. 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an emailed statement Saturday afternoon, the IIHF said it was “gathering further information on this incident from the relevant authorities and will refer the incident to the IIHF Ethics Board to determine if the Russian National Team’s actions violated the IIHF Ethics Code. Upon the IIHF Ethics Board decision, the incident will be referred to the IIHF Disciplinary Board for sanctioning.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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