A Southwest flight into Houston had to divert and land at another airport after a passenger reportedly tried to open an emergency exit mid-flight, according to the Dallas Morning News. Witnesses told the newspaper that she acted erratically before the flight, claiming that the government experimented on her.
The newspaper reports that the flight, going from Los Angeles to Houston, had to stop at an airport in Corpus Christi, Texas, for two and a half hours after the passenger allegedly tried to open an exit door. Witnesses told the Dallas Morning News that, before the flight, the unidentified passenger claimed the government was unfair to her and her family and ran experiments that caused her to walk backward:
An off-duty police officer from a Texas school district stopped the passenger from trying to open the emergency exit with the help of another person on the flight, according to news station KTRK. The station reports that the police chief for the district identified the officer as Pamela Minchew, who is brand new to the department.
But the passenger got a decently strong hold on the door before anyone stepped in, according to KTRK:
Henrietta Mokwuah said she witnessed a woman try to open an emergency exit while they flew thousands of feet in the air.
“Oh yeah, she tore off a piece of it. There was the frame, that was on the door. She ended up breaking it off,” said Mokwuah. “We’ve been visiting Corpus Christi over that for four to five hours.”
Mokwuah said the woman appeared unstable. She said the woman was pacing up and down the aisle of the plane.
Videos show the passenger being taken off the plane, walking backward with police officers walking both in front and behind her. Some questioned why the passenger was allowed on the plane after acting as she did before the flight, but the Dallas Morning News reports that Southwest didn’t comment on that aspect of the situation.
The flight landed in Houston almost five hours late Sunday. The Corpus Christi International Airport said the FBI is investigating the incident, according to the Dallas Morning News. KTRK reports that as of Monday morning, the passenger had been questioned by authorities who have not yet formally charged her with a crime.