An AirTran plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Memphis Monday evening after a passenger tried to open an emergency exit at the back of the plane while it was in flight.
MyFoxMemphis.com reported that AirTran Flight 265 landed at around 6:30 pm and passengers were asked to deplane so that they could be interviewed by authorities.
Meanwhile, AirTran employees checked the emergency exit door to make sure it was secure.
The male passenger, who has not been named, was escorted off the jet by airport police and was detained for evaluation by the FBI and the TSA. As yet, no charges have been filed.
One passenger said that the man was acting suicidal, saying he didn’t want to live. Another passenger said that the man was restrained by members of the military who were on the flight.
They continued to watch him until the plane landed. There were 120 passengers and a five-person crew on board the flight.
The incident occurred while the plane was in the air over Little Rock, Arkansas. The fight was diverted back to Memphis because it was the closest AirTran airport.
John Geraud, Memphis International Airport Vice President of Operations, said that the man did not appear to be drunk or unruly at the time of his arrest.
The plane left for Austin again shortly before 8:30 pm nearly two hours after it had been forced to land.
For the passengers, the reason that their flight was diverted had a fortunate ending. Just as well, he didn’t manage to open the door!