Key Points:

  • A passenger was arrested at New Orleans' Louis Armstrong Airport after using the emergency hatch to exit a parked Southwest Airlines flight.

  • The incident occurred while the plane was still at the terminal, with the passenger escaping onto the tarmac.

  • The individual was taken to the hospital for evaluation, and the case is being handed over to federal authorities for further investigation.

Unusual Escape from Southwest Flight Leads to Arrest

NEW ORLEANS — An unexpected incident occurred on a Southwest Airlines flight at the Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans on Sunday night. A passenger was arrested after they exited the plane through the emergency hatch and ran onto the tarmac. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office (JPSO), responsible for the arrest, reported that the incident took place while the plane was still positioned at the terminal and had not yet begun its take-off procedures.

Over-wing emergency exits, like the one used by the passenger, are designed for rapid evacuation in emergencies. These exits, typically located over the plane's wings, provide a self-help escape route for passengers seated in the middle sections of the aircraft. In the event of an evacuation, passengers would typically slide down the wings to reach the tarmac safely. It's important to note that these emergency exits are usually situated over 6 feet above the ground.

Investigation and Aftermath of the Incident

Following the incident, the JPSO stated that the individual was taken to a hospital for evaluation. However, further details regarding the passenger's condition or motives for their actions have not been disclosed. Local news station WWL-TV reported on the incident but did not reveal the passenger's identity.

The investigation into this unusual occurrence on the Southwest Airlines flight is ongoing and will be transferred to federal authorities for further scrutiny. This incident highlights the significance of safety protocols and the importance of adhering to regulations while aboard an aircraft. The actions of the passenger not only posed a risk to their own safety but also raised concerns about security measures at airports. The aviation community and law enforcement agencies are keenly observing the outcome of this investigation to understand better how such incidents can be prevented in the future.