Opening Parked Plane’s Emergency Exit: In a bizarre and concerning incident that unfolded on a Southwest Airlines Flight in New Orleans, a 38-year-old man, whose identity remains undisclosed, was apprehended on Sunday after purportedly leaping out of an emergency hatch, clambering onto the plane’s wing, and attempting to make a swift escape just as the aircraft was in the midst of preparing for takeoff. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO), as reported by CNN, detailed that the man’s arrest ensued after he managed to extricate himself from the emergency hatch, subsequently dashing onto the tarmac at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
As the news circulated on social media, a video capturing the chaotic scene depicted passengers hastily evacuating the plane and streaming through the jetway. Simultaneously, images shared by a New Orleans TV station portrayed the emergency hatch descending, coupled with the moment when law enforcement escorted the man away in handcuffs.
During the incident, the aircraft was stationed at the terminal, yet to commence its pushback from the gate for takeoff. A witness, cited by the New York Post, recounted observing the 38-year-old traversing the airplane’s wing before descending and sprinting across the tarmac. The witness added that the individual even made an audacious attempt to abscond with a service truck on the tarmac, thwarted only by the timely intervention of authorities.
Upon making contact with the man on the tarmac, deputies noted that he appeared “incoherent and not fully aware of his surroundings,” according to statements from the sheriff’s office. In response to these observations, he was promptly “transported to a local hospital for evaluation, as the deputies suspected he was grappling with a mental health emergency.” Authorities emphasized that he is presently under hospital care.
The sheriff’s office clarified that there is no indication the man left anything on the plane, nor was he found in possession of any weapons. Local criminal charges are not expected; however, the investigation has been forwarded to federal authorities. Fortunately, no injuries were reported during this peculiar incident, as confirmed by CNN.
Following a significant delay, the flight ultimately proceeded using an alternative aircraft, the news outlet reported. The witness, offering insights into the aftermath, indicated a delay of approximately two hours, with the flight eventually reaching Atlanta shortly before midnight.