United Airlines flight to Hong Kong diverts to Canada, leaves passengers stranded for more than 14 hours

A United Airlines flight headed to Hong Kong wound up stuck in Canada for more than 14 hours thanks to a series of medical and mechanical issues.

The diverted flight left Newark Saturday at 3:05 p.m. – but before it could make headway into the journey to Hong Kong, was forced to land at the Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland, Canada due to a medical emergency, according to CNN.

The sick passenger was quickly taken to a local hospital, but a mechanical issue kept the plane grounded. And grounded. And grounded.

Passenger Sonjay Dutt live-tweeted his experience on the plane, and said that it was a broken door keeping the flight from taking off.

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A United Airlines Boeing 777 takes off at San Francisco International Airport's runway 10L. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Continental Holdings Inc., right, and Ed Bastian, chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines Inc., speak before the start of an airline executive meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Trump assured U.S. airline executives that his administration would help them compete with foreign carriers that he said are subsidized by their governments, and promised infrastructure upgrades, lower regulation and tax relief. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: United Airlines Dreamliner 787 taking off from LAX on October 03, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: United Airlines Dreamliner 787 taking off from LAX on October 03, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: A United Airlines 787 prepares to depart from London Heathrow International Airport's Terminal 2 on September 13, 2016, in London, England. The collapse of Great Britain appears to have been greatly exaggerated given the late summer crowds visiting city museums, hotels, and other important tourist attractions. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Oscar Munoz, President and CEO of United Airlines, attends a meeting with airline industry executives hosted by US President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 9, 2017. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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CNN reports that passengers were not permitted to leave the aircraft because there was no customs officer on duty, and so they were forced to wait in weather that dipped below negative 20 degrees.

“Please help us. This is an emergency @united. People are not doing well. Running low on food,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s freezing, not safe for children and elderly.”

Dutt noted that airport officials brought snacks and water from popular Canadian chain Tim Horton’s after several hours.

He said that after 14 hours of being stranded at Goose Bay, a rescue plane arrived with a new crew, mechanics and gate agents. The rescue plane was meant to fix the door, Dutt said, but instead, welcomed the passengers on board and took them back to Newark since the fix took too long.

Passenger Steven Lau summed up his journey on Twitter with the message, “Expectation: 16-hour @united flight from Newark to Hong Kong. Reality: 16-hours flight from Newark to Newfoundland and Labrador and back to Newark.”

United did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There were 250 passengers on board, according to CBC News.

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