A distraught 17-year-old boy opened the emergency exit of a plane after it landed in San Francisco, ran down its wing and booked it across the tarmac.
Officials say the teen was not injured but was transported to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Other passengers said he seemed anxious and fidgety during the flight and that he acted very quickly, making it hard for anyone to stop him.
"We just landed and then I hear some people scream ... like, 'No!'" said 11-year-old passenger Andrea Sepulveda Guzman, who was on the plane. And then he just starts running the other way.
Copa Airlines said that an investigation is under way and that the airline is cooperating with authorities. The plane went to the assigned gate and all the passengers were de-boarded safely.
But passenger Isaac Rodrigues said there was no door to close and a flight attendant blocked the gap with her body and the plane then continued on to the gate. The American Airlines flight 5242 was preparing for takeoff from the terminal at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Airport spokesman Doug Yakel says a construction crew working nearby confronted the teenager and held him until police arrived and arrested him.
Passengers said the teen seemed fidgety and anxious throughout the flight that he acted so quickly, no one had a chance to stop him. The incident led to a two hour delay of the aircraft and reportedly cost the airlines about $16,000 in damages.
"They were yelling, 'Tell the flight attendants".