A United Airlines flight was forced to make an unexpected landing, courtesy of a toilet mess. Flight 895 from Chicago to Hong Kong was diverted to Alaska after a man smeared faeces all over two of the aircraft's lavatories.
According to airport officials, the plane was diverted to Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage after a passenger defecated in the two toilets and then spread it around the lavatories. He reportedly also took off his shirt and attempted to flush it down the loo of the Boeing 777.
One passenger, Tricia Mason, told KTVA that the man was "shaking the seats all around him... [and] pouring soda and water on the floor and on laptops".
The passenger responsible for the mess, however, co-operated with the airline crew later and stayed in his seat till he was escorted off the plane by authorities. He was taken to the Providence Hospital to undergo a psychological evaluation and the airlines are yet to press any charges against him.
A cleaning crew was able to decontaminate the entire craft but the delay forced other passengers to remain in Alaska overnight.
"United flight 895, travelling from Chicago to Hong Kong, diverted to Anchorage last night due to a disruptive passenger," the airline wrote in a statement. "We provided hotel accommodations for our customers and are working to get them to their destinations as quickly as possible."
The FBI reported that the man had been released from jail in Evansville, Indiana, two days prior to the incident and was on his way to Vietnam to live with relatives.
Earlier in December, a flight faced a lavatory problem of another sort, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing. The Delta flight from New York to Seattle had to land in Montana after the onboard toilets stopped working and passengers waited desperately to use the facilities.
"I've heard of flights getting diverted, not here, because toilets overflowed and that blue water was rolling down the aisle," Kevin Ploehn, the Billings director of aviation and transit told The Billings Gazette. "That can't be very pleasant."