Passenger Climbs Onto Southwest Airlines Plane Wing, Hospitalized

It happened when a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight stepped onto the wing and started chasing after luggage staff at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. 

The 38-year-old man, who was said to be experiencing a “mental health emergency,” was taken into custody by police.

The incident occurred Sunday night when the Southwest Airlines flight was still waiting at the terminal. According to reports, the passenger allegedly opened the emergency hatch, climbed onto the wing, and then jumped to the ground. Ground crew members quickly subdued the individual.

Authorities from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office stated that when deputies approached the man, they found him in an incoherent state and unaware of his surroundings. 

There is no indication that he left any items on the plane or possessed any weapons.

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Airport Chase Sparks Federal Probe

passenger-climbs-onto-southwest-airlines-plane-wing-hospitalized
It happened when a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight stepped onto the wing and started chasing after luggage staff at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.

The local sheriff’s office spokesperson mentioned that the man is not expected to face local criminal charges but that the case has been referred to federal authorities. It is unknown if any charges will be filed at the national level.

A video posted on TikTok captured the commotion and shouting that occurred inside the plane. Passengers can be seen leaving the aircraft through a covered gangway while the man sprints across the tarmac in an attempt to commandeer an airport truck. He is quickly apprehended by ground staff wearing hi-visibility jackets.

The individual who posted the video explained that he began recording because the man was arguing with other passengers. 

He also expressed concern that the man may have planted a bomb on the plane before exiting. Passengers described their fear and shock at the unfolding events.

The incident caused a delay of approximately three hours for passengers traveling to Atlanta at the end of the busy Thanksgiving weekend. This period is known to be one of the busiest travel times in the United States as people return home after visiting family.

Southwest Airlines apologized to customers for the inconvenience caused by the incident and commended their flight and ground crews for their swift actions in handling the situation.

The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and the potential impact it can have on individuals in various settings, including airports and airplanes.

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