Before takeoff on a Southwest Airlines flight on Sunday, a guy climbed out on the wing using the emergency hatch of the aircraft, causing confusion.
After the man, who has not been named, abused the escape mechanism, passengers were advised to get off the aircraft.
According to WWL-TV, the man descended the plane’s wing and arrived at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport’s tarmac.
The incident happened prior to the jet taking off from the flight line’s terminal.
After the incident, one passenger got off the plane and used the terminal glass to film the man being arrested on the tarmac.
Passengers in a panic voiced anxiety that the unruly traveler might have been complicit in a terrorist act, a worry that was eventually allayed.
Even worse, a passenger said the man had left something on the aircraft prior to his abrupt and unannounced departure.
A Passenger has been arrested after escaping through emergency hatch on Southwest Airlines flight WN3172 operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8 at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) earlier today.
— FL360aero (@fl360aero) November 27, 2023
Another passenger also recorded a video of the man on the tarmac.
A man was arrested at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport after allegedly escaping through the emergency hatch and ran out onto the tarmac Sunday night.
Source: Laquisha Martin pic.twitter.com/vbHsVj8FbE
— KWTX News 10 (@kwtx) November 27, 2023
The man was later hospitalized, according to CNBC.
“He was caught on the tarmac, and transported to a local hospital for evaluation,” the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said of the situation.
Southwest Airlines thanked airport employees and first responders for putting the situation under control.
“We commend our flight and ground crews for their swift action and apologize to our customers for their inconvenience,” the airline said in a statement.
After a delay, the plane eventually took off from the airport in New Orleans, making stops in Atlanta and Baltimore.
There are currently no criminal charges pending in relation to the event at the airport.