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‘Mentally-Disturbed’ Passenger Tries to Commit Suicide by Opening Plane’s Emergency Door Mid-Flight

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Last Updated: May 11, 2019, 15:56 IST

Image used for representation. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews)

Image used for representation. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews)

“Her father pulled her from the door. She was screaming her head off that she needed to open the door and die.”

A passenger on board a flight in the United States tried to commit suicide by opening the plane’s emergency door before being restrained by her father. The mid-flight incident forced the pilot to declare an emergency as the plane landed at LaGuardia Airport on Friday, The New York Post quoted sources as saying.

The chaos on Delta Air Lines’ New York-bound Flight 5935, which originated from North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport, was captured on live air traffic control audio.

“We just had a mentally disturbed passenger tried to open the forward door,” the pilot is seen heard saying in audio obtained by NBC New York. “Everything is under control now. We’re going to be taxiing to the gate.”

The pilot initially alerted air traffic control, “Would like to declare an emergency. The forward service door has been opened.”

The passenger, described as a 20-year-old female, made “comments about wanting to take her life”
before trying to unsuccessfully to open the emergency door. The woman was restrained by her father and the flight landed safely at LaGuardia.

Stacy Herbert, who was on board, tweeted about the harrowing experience.

“A young woman in perhaps her early twenties became suicidal and tried to open the door of plane as we descended into LGA,” she wrote. “Her father pulled her from the door. She was screaming her head off that she needed to open the door and die.”

Herbert tweeted photos showing police on the tarmac surrounding the plane, adding that passengers were providing statements to authorities.

“I wasn’t scared as I knew the door could not be opened but her shrieks were terrifying,” Herbert continued. “And she was sitting behind us so when she was pulled back to her seat it was awful to see her suicidal distress.”

Authorities stressed that the aircraft door was designed not to open mid-flight because positive pressure inside the cabin will not allow the door to open.

The woman has been taken into custody and brought to Lenox Hill Hospital for an evaluation, The Post quoted sources as saying.
first published:May 11, 2019, 15:56 IST
last updated:May 11, 2019, 15:56 IST