A US Airways flight was diverted to Pittsburgh this morning because a 12-pound Manchester terrier named Mandy bit a passenger and flight attendant, the airline said.
Flight 522 was en route from Newark to Phoenix when a pilot notified authorities of the incident at 7:22 a.m. The flight had 122 passengers and five crew members.
“The captain felt in the interest of safety, it was better to land and have them looked at than continue on,” said US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher. He said the airline allows passengers to bring small dogs on board as long as they remain in a carrying case that can fit under their seat.
The bite victims reboarded the flight and continued to Phoenix after being treated by paramedics, said Allegheny County police Inspector David Walsh.
Officials found an alternate flight for the dog and its owner, an unidentified 89-year-old woman from New Jersey who was headed to Palm Springs, Calif. The woman will not be charged in the incident.
Walsh said it appears the dog became agitated as its sedatives began wearing off. A man seated next to the woman tried to soothe the animal. The dog bit the man, broke out of the cage and then ran up and down the aisle of the plane barking. A flight attendant who grabbed the dog also was bitten.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.