A flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta was diverted for an emergency landing after a passenger attempted to open plane door midflight. The man attacked two female flight attendants and threatened pilot to bring down the plane.
In Delta Flight 1730, the man grappled with flight attendants and said repeatedly that he was going to take the plane down.
However, the pilot called over the public address system for “all able-bodied men” to assist.
Several, including an off-duty pilot, rushed forward and after several moments of violent struggle, were able to overpower the man.
A video from the incident shows passengers scrambling to restrain the man during his attempt to open the door mid-flight. The man had repeatedly shouted that he would "take the plane down".
Terrifying moment a man is restrained by passengers & crew near cockpit.— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) June 12, 2021
Based on multiple reports & a check of flight tracks, this appears to be @Delta Flight 1730 (LAX - ATL) which diverted to Oklahoma City.
Developing story, details unconfirmed.pic.twitter.com/nlEa0WCkYY
The plane, which had been well on its way from the West Coast to Atlanta in the southeast was diverted to Oklahoma City.
Police there took the suspect, identified as an off-duty Delta employee in his late 20s, into custody, reports said.
The precise motive of accused is unknown.
“After complaining of chest pains and showing signs mental issues, the man was hospitalized,” said police.
In a statement, Delta thanked the passengers and crew who assisted in detaining the passenger.
Meanwhile, data from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) show that “unruly passenger” incidents on commercial flights have shot up this year amid high stress levels.
The agency has launched 394 formal enforcement actions in such cases through May 25 of this year, a far higher pace than the 183 for all of 2020.