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Cambodian war survivor threatened to “blow the plane”

A FRENCH national, originally from Cambodia, travelling on board an Air Transat flight, which diverted to Shannon Airport, had threatened to “blow the plane by opening the doors”, Ennis District Court heard.

Mr Som Chanh (55)  used the winnings of €945 from a Euromillions draw to purchase his ticket so he could meet his family for the first time in more than 30 years.

Mr Som Chanh, with an address of 2 Place Des Feders 93160 Noisy Le Grand, Paris, was on board a Paris to Montreal flight, which was diverted to Shannon Airport on Monday due to an “air rage” incident.

His solicitor Stiofan Fitzpatrick told the court his client had survived the Cambodian war, sought refuge in France in 1977  and had recently learned that his mother was alive and living in Montreal.

Chanh was given the benefit of the probation act after pleading  guilty to charges of engaging in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance to any person on board the aircraft; engaging in behaviour of a threatening, abusive or insulting nature with intent to cause a breach of the peace and being intoxicated on board the flight contrary to the Air Navigation and Transport Act.

The flight, which was carrying 335 passengers and 12 crewmembers, landed at Shannon at 10.30, and continued its journey at 12.30pm on Monday.

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