Brave passengers: Luckily, as the plane came in to land, two heroic passengers rugby-tackled the man and restrained him on the floor until air marshals arrived to escort him away in handcuffs
But, as the plane came in to land, two heroic passengers rugby-tackled the man and restrained him on the floor until air marshals arrived to escort him away in handcuffs.
Monique Lawler of Diamond Bar was on the flight and captured the scene on her mobile phone once safely on the ground.
A flight to California turned to horror yesterday when a passenger tried to open the door at 30,000 feet in the air, forcing the pilot into an emergency landing.
Travellers on board the Southwest Airlines flight 722, from Chicago to Sacramento, began screaming in terror when the man approached the back of the plane and attempted to unlock the hatch-door.
He had minutes earlier emerged form the bathroom after soaking himself in water.
As panic spread through the cabin, the captain of the flight decided he had no choice but to divert the plane to Omaha, Nebraska
'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,' she told KABC.
She said her suspicions were aroused when he came out after a long spell in the toilet cubicle completely covered in water. That's when the situation took a turn for the worst.
Trouble in the air: It happened aboard on board a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Sacramento
'He got up and went to the rear of the plane and tried to open up the hatch,' said Lawler. 'One of the airline stewardess just started screaming as well as passengers screaming help.'
But quick-thinking doctor Scott Porter and another passenger leapt on the man before he could get the door open.
'I ran to the back of the plane, where I was joined by two other people,' he told KCRA-TV. 'We tackled the guy and held hime down. He was going to do bad things to the plane.'
After the man was removed from the flight, it continued to its destination.The flight with 5 crew members and 134 passengers arrived in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule.
The airline had no further details about the passenger. A call to the Omaha Airport Authority wasn't