The All Nippon Airways flight to Seattle was reportedly forced to turn back to Tokyo on Tuesday
An aircraft flying from Tokyo to the U.S. reportedly had to fly back to Japan on Tuesday after an intoxicated passenger bit a crew member.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Flight 118 was forced to return to Haneda Airport in Tokyo when a “heavily drunk” 55-year-old U.S. male passenger bit a crew member’s arm, an ANA spokesperson said, reported multiple outlets including The Japan Times.
The ANA flight, which had 159 passengers onboard, had taken off at 9:47 p.m. local time and was headed to Seattle before it diverted back to Haneda airport, according to live air traffic website Flight Radar 24.
The female crew member sustained minor injuries from the attack, reported CNN. The unnamed passenger was detained by police shortly after the flight’s return to the capital, the airline spokesperson shared, per the outlet.
After landing back in Tokyo the U.S. passenger told investigators he "doesn't recall" his actions onboard the flight, Japanese broadcaster TBS reported, per The Japan Times.
"The safety and security of our passengers and employees are ANA’s top priority and we will take all necessary actions to ensure it," the airline told PEOPLE Wednesday 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."
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"Upon arrival at Haneda Airport, the passenger was turned over to the local police. There were no reported injuries among the passengers and the flight has been rescheduled to depart on January 17."
The incident follows a string of other flight incidents in Japan this month. On Tuesday, two passenger planes collided on a runway in Hokkaidō, Japan when Korean Air flight 766 skidded on a snowy tarmac and hit a parked Cathay Pacific aircraft at New Chitose Airport. No injuries were reported following the collision, Korean Air said in a statement.
The Korean Air plane had 276 passengers and 13 crew members onboard at the time, reported ABC News. There were no passengers onboard the Cathay Pacific plane when the planes collided.
“The airline is cooperating with all relevant authorities,” Korean Air shared on Instagram, adding that it “will do the best to serve passengers safely by quickly dispatching holdovers.”
On Jan. 2, a Japan Airlines flight 516 collided with a Japan Coast Guard plane and caught fire, according to CNN and BBC. All 379 passengers and crew members were evacuated at the time of the incident, reported multiple outlets. However, five out of six people onboard the Coast Guard plane died in the accident, according to public broadcaster NHK, per Reuters.
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