Passenger arrested in US for opening aircraft emergency exit

By Hoang Vu   November 29, 2023 | 06:47 pm PT
Passenger arrested in US for opening aircraft emergency exit
A Southwest Airlines aircraft flies past the U.S. Capitol before landing at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., Jan. 24, 2022. Photo by Reuters
A 38-year-old passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight in the U.S. was detained after opening an emergency exit door and climbing onto the wing.

The plane was preparing for takeoff last Sunday at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport when the incident took place, the Jefferson Parish sheriff's office said in a release.

Authorities suspected the man suffered from a mental health emergency, and "was incoherent and not fully aware of his surroundings," the New York Post reported.

A passenger who witnessed the entire incident said the man walked on the plane's wing before jumping off and running across the runway.

He has been taken to a hospital for mental evaluation, authorities said.

He did not carry any weapons or leave any objects on the plane.

Southwest Airlines said the flight left Louisiana for Atlanta three hours late.

This is not the first time a passenger has jumped out of a plane's emergency exit this year.

In July a 44-year-old male passenger climbed out of a Sun Country Airlines plane at Minneapolis-St Paul airport to avoid being arrested by police.

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