An All Nippon Airways plane bound for Seattle was forced to return to Tokyo Haneda Airport on Tuesday after a passenger reportedly bit a female crew member mid-flight.
The unnamed passenger was identified as a 55-year-old American male who was “heavily drunk” at the time of the incident. Japanese authorities revealed that the male had also taken a sleeping pill and said he had no recollection of the incident.
The flight took off just after 9:45 p.m. local time, and the biting reportedly occurred roughly an hour into the flight.
The plane was over the Pacific Ocean at the time of the incident, and the pilot decided to turn the fight around. There were 159 passengers onboard.
Upon landing in Tokyo, the male was detained by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
The unnamed female flight attendant sustained minor injuries.
“The safety and security of our passengers and employees are ANA’s top priority, and we will take all necessary actions to ensure it,” a spokesperson for All Nippon Airways told PEOPLE in a statement. “On January 16, NH118 departing from Tokyo Haneda to Seattle returned during the flight due to an intoxicated passenger who was acting in an unsafe manner to the flight crew and passengers.”
The flight was rescheduled to fly out on Wednesday.
This isn’t the first incident that caused a plane to turn around for All Nippon Airways in the past week.
Last weekend, a plane leaving the Sapporo-New Chitose Airport set to travel to Toyama airport had to turn around 40 minutes into the flight after cabin crew noticed one of the six cockpit windows was cracked.
“The crack was not something that affected the flight’s control or pressurization,” a spokesperson for the airline said at the time.
The cause of the crack is under investigation.
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