Flight to Caribbean diverted due to smoking family

A Sunwing flight from Halifax bound for the Dominican Republic was forced to land in Bermuda Friday night because three passengers refused to stop smoking on the plane, CBC News has learned.

The Bermuda police service said they were called to the airport around 9:55 p.m. local time to meet Sunwing flight 454, which was on its way to Punta Cana.

Police said they boarded the plane and arrested the three smokers.

"It appeared to be a father, a mother and a son. The parents appear to be in their 50s. The son, I believe, is around 22 or so," said acting Insp. Paul Simons.

He said another passenger asked the family to stop smoking in the cabin and alerted the crew.

Simons said he couldn't confirm the family's nationality or if they had also been drinking, but said they were co-operative when they were removed from the plane by police.

They were taken to the police station and have since been released on bail.

The flight was grounded overnight and the crew and passengers were put up in a hotel.

"The flight was also grounded so that a Canadian-trained mechanic could inspect the aircraft for undetermined reasons," Simons said.

The flight was scheduled to leave on Saturday.

The family has been ordered not to leave the island and their passports and travel documents have been seized by the Bermuda police.

They have not been officially charged.

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