Shocking video shows Delta passenger trying to open aircraft door mid-air
Less than a week after a Delta passenger tried to storm the cockpit of a Los Angeles to Nashville flight, passengers on a different flight were left terrified after a man tried to open the craft's door and the flight's crew had to request 'strong men' among fliers to step up and help subdue him. Name and age undisclosed, the man has been identified as an off-duty flight attendant who is currently in FBI custody for saying he wanted to take down the plane.
Onboard a Delta Flight 1730 from Los Angeles to Atlanta, the man allegedly took over the intercom and assaulted two flight attendants. Before trying to take over the plane, the accused attempted to tell flight attendants that one of the passengers was a hijacker. He then proceeded to tell the passengers that oxygen masks would drop from the ceiling and several were left horrified that the craft was about to crash. The plane was eventually forced to land in Oklahoma City on Saturday, June 12, and luckily, no passengers or crew members were hurt, Delta spokesman Eric Zeugschmidt told the outlet.
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According to other passengers on the crowded flight, the accused was described as a rather 'strange' man who was 'dressed quite oddly', reports CNN. He was also described as wearing a helmet with elbow and knee pads while he was on the flight. A 29-year-old passenger identified as Benjamin Curlee recalled how another passenger seated next to the accused off-duty flight attendant had alleged that the "very weird" man had even scribbled a note to flight attendants in the plane, accusing the other passenger was a hijacker.
That passenger had also told Curlee that he "felt very uncomfortable with the guy" as he was asking "a lot of very personal questions", like the passenger's name and its spelling, reports CNN. Curlee recalled, just two hours before reaching their destination, the captain requested over the intercom for "all able-bodied men please come to the front of the plane for an emergency." Curlee further added how he "feared the worst. I prayed that God would protect my family in case I was gone." He and the passenger seated next to him tried to hop up to the captain's request but couldn't make it to him because "basically every man on the plane stepped up and was in the aisle. It was very tense, very adrenaline fueled."
:rotating_light:#BREAKING: Someone tried hijack Flight from LAX to ATL— R A W S :rotating_light: L E R T S (@rawsalerts) June 12, 2021
:pushpin:#LAX l #ATL
Terrifying moment a man is restrained by passengers & crew near cockpit. As he was trying to open the door to the outside. Delta Flight 1730 (LAX ATL) which made a emergency to Oklahoma City pic.twitter.com/TRcHoi356Y
Just minutes later, another announcement over the intercom asked passengers to return to their seats and put on their oxygen masks. "That created quite a stir. People behind me were saying, 'Well, that's really bad.' I mean that only happens when the plane goes down," he said. Speaking about the experience, Curlee told the outlet: "I was hoping to sleep on that flight and that didn't happen. It feels very surreal." He also added: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime event. It's something you really always kind of in the back of your head, like, wonder if this will happen. Well, today it actually did. I am very thankful that it did not end badly."
Oklahoma City Police Capt Jermaine Johnson told CNN that the unidentified accused has since been taken into custody and transported to the Oklahoma City Hospital with minor injuries. After the flight landed just after 5 am on Saturday, the bomb squad also checked the plane, said Johnson, adding that the accused is in FBI custody.