Passengers at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) experienced a fright after witnessing a man climb out onto the wing of a Southwest Airlines’ plane and run onto the tarmac.
The man then made a wild attempt to hijack an airport vehicle.
The incident occurred on November 26, 2023, and according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office, the man was a passenger on a Southwest Airlines aircraft that had not departed the gate.
The man used the emergency exit door to climb onto the aircraft wing. From there, he jumped onto the tarmac and tried to steal an airport vehicle to get away.
A number of the panicked passengers were able to record video footage of the incident, and uploaded the clips to social media.
In the video, fellow passengers, who had already boarded the flight and were waiting for the plane to pushback for departure, can be seen asking one another if a man jumped through the emergency exit.
Flight passengers were then asked to deplane as it was thought that the man left a suspicious package on the aircraft.
Once back at the airport, passengers witnessed another spectacle when they saw the man make a wild attempt to hijack an airport vehicle in the tarmac.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office clarified that contrary to earlier media reports saying an arrest was made, the man had been taken to a mental health facility where he remains hospitalized.
Police said there was no indication that the man had left anything on the plane, nor was he in possession of any type of weapon.
The man is not expected to face local charges, but the investigation has been referred to federal authorities.