(RepublicanPress.org) – Every commercial plane is designed with several exits for emergency use. These portals could be located at the front and back of the aircraft or over the wings. The exits are clearly marked, open with a handle or lever, and typically come equipped with slides or rafts to bring passengers to safety in times of need. While these exits are only for emergencies, a man recently used one as his own personal back door.
On November 26, 4WWL reported that a Southwest Airlines passenger opened the emergency hatch, walked out on the wing, and jumped off the plane. The incident happened at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana. After hopping down from the wing, the man reportedly tried to drive off the tarmac in a stolen service truck. Authorities stopped him before he got away.
A passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight was arrested after he exited the plane through the emergency exit while it was parked at the terminal. pic.twitter.com/MAy6lBTw5x
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 28, 2023
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) hasn’t released the identity of the man but said police took him to a local hospital for evaluation. While reports indicate that the passenger was arrested with photos of the man in handcuffs, he hasn’t been charged with a crime. JPSO gave no motive for the incident and gave no update as to the man’s current condition or state of mind. However, the New York Post revealed that authorities handed the case over to the FBI for further evaluation.
Luckily, neither the passengers nor the crew were in any danger of the hatch reopening, as the aircraft was still at the gate when the event occurred.
Southwest has certain requirements for passengers who want to purchase emergency exit seating. The people sitting in those rows have certain responsibilities and must meet a set of parameters to sit there. However, it’s unclear if the man’s seat was in the emergency exit aisle or if he walked over to the door and opened it to leave.
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