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Plane diverted to save pet from freezing

Thursday September 17th 2015

A pilot diverted a plane to save a pet dog's life after realising a heating unit was not working.

Seven-year-old French bulldog Simba was riding in the cargo hold, which can become extremely cold at high altitude if it is not heated. The Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto on Sunday was diverted to Frankfurt, delaying the 200 passengers on board by about 75 minutes.

Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Air Canada, says the overall reaction to the inconvenience was positive, particularly once people were told that the dog was potentially in danger but safe as a result of the diversion.

Although the heating unit is not critical to completing a journey, Mr Fitzpatrick says the pilot chose to divert the flight just before heading over the Atlantic Ocean because temperatures can plummet over the sea.

German Kontorovich, Simba's owner, was extremely grateful to the pilot for his quick thinking. " It's my dog, it's like my child. It's everything to me," he told the Canadian news website CityNews.

Copyright Press Association 2015