Published on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Raccoon in air-con causes seven-hour flight delay

Air Canada passengers headed for Toronto had a lengthy seven-hour flight delay as workers tried to remove a raccoon.

The furry creature was spotted inside aircraft panelling when Saskatoon Airport workers were connecting an air-conditioning unit to the plane.

That sparked an hours-long struggle to coax the raccoon out which proved to be tougher than anyone expected.

Animal control experts were called and technicians were forced to remove some aircraft panelling to get closer to the animal.

Eventually, after several hours, the raccoon scampered out safely.

Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said: "Our crews worked with the animal control experts to extricate the animal, which was unharmed."

The incident was live tweeted by a passenger who said others found it mildly amusing to begin with.

Passenger Damien Lee said: "For the first hour, it was really novel. Then people were starting to get a little more cranky, a little less interested."

The raccoon had apparently climbed into the hose of the air conditioning unit but how it got there has mystified airport authorities.

Andrew Leeming, vice-president of operations at the airport, said: "It might have been in the ground equipment.

"It's unlikely that it would have travelled from Toronto, but at the same time, we don't see raccoons around the property, ever. That was kind of unusual."

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