Southwest Airlines Flight 4519 was diverted after a woman tried to open an emergency exit while airborne on the Sunday morning flight.
The woman, who remains unnamed, was subdued by a police officer after she tried to tried to rip open the emergency exit door while the plane was flying from Los Angeles to Houston, according to Travel and Tour World.
A passenger on the plane said that the woman was behaving erratically throughout Sunday’s morning flight. “She wrote ‘Help me’ and her name” on napkins, the traveller said, adding that he “knew something wasn’t right.”
The woman’s behavior drew attention even before she had boarded the flight at the airport, a passenger recounted: “It was weird, something like you see on TV. You never expect to think you’d be on that same flight.”
The pilot chose to divert to Corpus Christi, Texas, after crew members reported “a potential threat in the cabin,” Southwest Airlines said in a statement, noting that the FBI is investigating the situation.
The woman came close to opening the emergency door located near the rear of the plane said passenger Henrietta Mokwuah. “Oh yeah, she tore off a piece of it. There was the frame that was on the door. She ended up breaking it off,” Mokwuah said.
The woman refused to stay in her seat and yelled about being treated unfairly by the government, several passengers said.
Due to differences in air pressure, experts say it’s almost impossible for a passenger to open the door of an aircraft during flight. The doors also remain locked while flying.
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