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August 30, 2016

A man was arrested on board an Alaska Airlines flight after attempting to open one of the plane’s doors while in the air on Monday.

The flight, which was on route to Seattle-Tacoma airport, made an emergency diversion to Minneapolis, where the man was escorted off the plane by law enforcement.

The man “attempted to access one of the doors in the rear of the aircraft,” an Alaska Airlines spokesperson confirmed.

The passenger, estimated to be in his 20s, was reported to be behaving erratically: “He said he need to cancel his flight and get off the plane and just was kind of speaking a little gibberish,” his neighboring passenger, Shoshana Godwin, told local news affiliate KIRO.

Flight crew tried to calm the man down, but ultimately decided to make an emergency diversion to Minneapolis. He was taken off the plane in handcuffs by law enforcement.

The Boeing 737-900ER left John F. Kennedy Airport at 7:39 a.m. EST. Three hours later, the plane diverted to Minneapolis. The plane spent two hours on the ground at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and arrived in Seattle at 12:50 p.m. PST, about 90 minutes late.

Minneapolis-St. Paul airport police questioned the man and, after determining that he was a danger to himself, took him to a local hospital.

Although it is physically impossible to open a plane’s door mid-flight (due to pressure differences), the man still could face federal charges.

Cailey Rizzo writes about travel, art and culture and is the founding editor of The Local Dive. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @misscaileyanne.

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