A Southwest Airlines passenger escapes plane through emergency door

Southwest Airlines passenger is taken to hospital for evaluation after opening emergency exit, jumping out of the plane, running across the tarmac and trying to hijack a service truck at New Orleans airport

  • An unidentified 38-year-old man escaped a plane at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
  • The incident happened on Sunday night while the aircraft was stationary
  • He was sent to a hospital for examination and has not been arrested  

This is the bizarre moment a Southwest Airlines passenger escaped a stationary plane by opening the emergency hatch and running across the tarmac. 

After the passenger jumped out of the aircraft, he hoped on the wing of the plane and then sprinted across the tarmac and tried to hijack an airport service truck.

The incident happened on Sunday night at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner on Concourse B. 

The 38-year-old man was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and authorities say that ‘deputies believed he was suffering from a mental health emergency.’

The man has not been named by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, but they said he is believed to be a resident of Atlanta. 

The unidentified man was arrested at a New Orleans-area airport after attempting a bizarre escape out of the emergency hatch of a plane Sunday night

The aircraft – a Boeing 737 MAX 8 – was set to take off to Atlanta before it reached its final destination of Baltimore. The incident took place while the plane was parked at a terminal and had yet to fully prepare for takeoff.

The video begins as all of the passengers frantically get off the plane as some still sit in their seats baffled by the series of events. 

‘He just escaped,’ one passenger says. 

Another says: ‘He ran out!’ 

Everyone then proceeds to grab their belongings as quickly as possible before they all push toward the front of the plane to exit.

‘Go ya’ll, go ya’ll,’ one person says.

Everyone on board then walks back into the airport and remain at the gate area while the man is chased down on the tarmac. 

He is then seen being apprehended by multiple employees before authorities step in. 

Passengers are seen panicking in the video (left). All passengers had to swiftly exit the plane and return to the gat inside the airport (right) 

The man was not arrested, and his name has not been revealed, but authorities said he is 38 years old and believed to be from Atlanta

The Southwest flight was expected to head to Atlanta before it reached its final destination of Baltimore 

It is unclear what made the passenger open the emergency door and escape. 

‘When deputies made contact with the man, they found he was incoherent and not fully aware of his surrounding,’ police said. 

Authorities also said there was ‘no indication’ that the man left anything behind on the plane, and no weapons were found on him. 

Officials said that he is not expected to face criminal charges locally, but the investigation has now been referred to federal authorities. 

Nobody was injured but the flight was canceled due to the incident. 

‘We commend our flight and ground crews for their swift action and apologize to our customers for their inconvenience,’ Southwest Airlines said in a statement to NBC News. 

The man remains hospitalized at this time.  

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