Flight Diverted: AirTran Flight 265 Diverted After Passenger Tries To Open Emergency Exit In Midair

 @AndrewBerry1
on August 20 2013 6:11 PM
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An AirTran flight was diverted after a passenger tried to open the emergency exit in mid-air. REUTERS

An AirTran (NYSE: AAI) flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger attempted to open the emergency exit at the back of the plane.

According to MyFoxMemphis.com, AirTran flight 265 departed from Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 4:01 p.m. with 120 passengers and a crew of five onboard. The Boeing 737 was bound for Austin, Texas.

At some point during the flight, an “unruly” passenger tried to open the emergency exit. MyFoxMemphis.com reports that the unidentified male passenger was held back by four members of the military who happened to be on the flight. The flight was diverted to Memphis for an emergency landing.

John Geraud, Memphis International Airport vice president of operations, said the flight landed in Memphis at 6:30 p.m. The passenger -- who did not appear to be drunk, according to Geraud -- was escorted off the diverted flight by airport police and detained by the FBI for evaluation. No charges have yet been filed.

"The way this usually goes, we hand them off to local law enforcement and get back in the air," a representative for AirTran said, according to KEYE Austin. "That MEM is already an AirTran city makes that process easier -- fuel, relaunch, etc."

The other passengers were interviewed after deboarding, and authorities checked the emergency exit door to make sure it was secure. The 120 passengers eventually reboarded the plane and departed for Austin Bergstrom International Airport at 8:24 p.m.

MyFoxMemphis.com says that the unidentified passenger was acting “suicidal,” saying he didn’t want to live.

There were no injuries reported.

"Everyone was really calm and in good spirits and understanding," said passenger Tara Hamilton, according to United Press International. "Luckily there were military personnel on the plane and they were really accommodating. It could have been way worse but it wasn't that bad."

AirTran is a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV).

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