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Airline News


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Air passenger strips, tries to get out

An American Airlines flight has been diverted in mid-flight after a disturbed passenger stripped naked then tried to open an emergency exit.

Passengers on the Boston to Los Angeles flight today said the unidentified man had undressed in one of the plane's bathrooms before emerging naked in the cabin.

Other passengers told the man to return to the bathroom and get dressed, which he did.

But shortly after returning to his seat the man got up again and lunged for the emergency exit before being restrained by passengers and tied up.

The flight was diverted to Oklahoma City, where the man was taken into custody and placed under psychiatric evaluation, FBI spokesman Gary Johnson said.

The Boeing 757 was back in the air an hour later and landed without further incident in Los Angeles, said American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith.

As passengers left the plane in Los Angeles, several indicated they had taken the incident in stride.

Gillian Callaghan, who was travelling with her 12 year old son, said she never panicked because the flight crew seemed to keep things well under control. She said she felt sorry for the man.

"He was just having some troubles, confused, not a scary guy," she said.


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