A WOW Air plane from Iceland was placed in confinement for hours at the Montreal airport, Wednesday night after the discovery of an infestation of ants.
A passenger on the flight, Marco Lavecchia, explains that when he awoke from a nap during the trip, there was a lot of commotion around a luggage storage above the passengers.
“There were ants walking around, it scared me a bit,” he told CBC.
Upon landing, the pilot-in-command then asked the passengers to remain in position while the authorities inspected the aircraft.
“After two hours, they told us to leave all our belongings on board and that a bus would pick us up,” says Lavecchia. This included hand luggage, handbags and coats.
Marco Lavecchia explains that people have even had to leave the plane in a t-shirt. “They gave us a blanket and a bottle of water,” he adds.
Health Canada told CBC by email that officials had contacted entomologists to identify the ant species found on board the aircraft.
The various government agencies have ruled that ants pose “no significant risk to public health”.
They also monitor the cleaning of the aircraft, which includes fumigating the aircraft, baggage and personal effects on board.
The airline stated that “the aircraft was handled according to procedures”.