Southwest passenger tries to open plane door mid-flight

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (PIX11/AP) — A California-bound Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Omaha, Neb. after witnesses said a passenger tried to open a door midflight.

The airline said the Chicago-to-Sacramento plane landed on Eppley Airfield Sunday to “have an unruly passenger removed” before continuing on to its destination. The flight with 5 crew members and 134 passengers arrived in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule.

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Once on the ground, a doctor onboard told KCRA-TV he and two other passengers tackled the man in the back of the cabin and restrained him until air marshals escorted him off the plane. Scott Porter said the man “was going to do bad things to the plane.”

Another passenger, Monique Lawler, said the man first caught passengers’ attention when he started acting strangely — at one point going to the bathroom and returning soaking wet.

Once safely on the ground, Lawler told KABC, “Some gentleman just decided that he wanted us to visit the Lord today, and decided to open up the back hatch of Southwest Airlines flight while we were already up in the air.”

The airline had no further details about the passenger. A call to the Omaha Airport Authority wasn’t immediately returned.