An “unruly” passenger has been detained after allegedly opening an exit door on a plane and triggering the emergency slide before jumping out.
The flight leaving from Los Angeles International Airport and heading to Seattle was still on the tarmac and pushing away from the gate when the incident occurred on Saturday.
Passenger Gillian Sheldon posted on Twitter: “Holy s***. Just as my flight was leaving the gate at LAX a man ran up from the back of the plane & opened the door.
“Flight attendants tried to stop him but he deployed the slide and jumped out.”
Ms Sheldon later told NBC Los Angeles that the passenger “clearly was agitated, or nervous or anxious or freaked out about something”.
The man was not co-operating with the staff and ignoring orders, she claimed.
Ms Sheldon added: “She [the flight attendant] looked at him and said: ‘You need to go back to your seat’, and he said: ‘What do I do now’, and turned and grabbed the door.”
The flight attendant told the man that he could not open the door “and grabbed him and within two seconds he opened the door”, Ms Sheldon added.
Delta Airlines confirmed an incident involving an “unruly passenger” and said the man was first detained by Delta staff members before police arrived.
Los Angeles Airport Police Captain Karla Rodriguez also told NBC Los Angeles that the FBI have been notified.
Passengers were taken off the plane and moved to another aircraft so they could continue with their journeys, she said.
Ms Rodriguez added that no arrests were made but the man was “transported to a local hospital for a mental evaluation”.