A United Airlines Flight Was Grounded After a Potential Hijacking
A Denver-bound United Airlines flight from Washington D.C., was forced to turn around midway through its flight plan Monday night after a passenger reportedly attempted to storm the cockpit. The incident began 15 minutes into the flight.
Videos and photos released on a Reddit thread show the man who was also allegedly screaming "jihad, jihad," being restrained by multiple other passengers. In the video, the man can be heard yelling, "I'm sorry."
Another person in the video can be heard saying, "We're going to get you off this plane, buddy."
"He ran forward towards the cockpit and he is being restrained by passengers," a pilot said, according to ABC News. "Cockpit is secure and we would like to return to the airport and have the authorities meet him."
It was unclear what the man wanted, and according to CNN sources, the man does not have known affiliations with terrorism.
A spokeswoman for Dulles International Airport told the Washington Post that no passengers were injured and no weapons were found. Flight 1074 had been carrying 33 passengers to Denver from Washington D.C., the Washington Post reported.
After returning, the plane was met by local law enforcement at Dulles airport in Virginia. According to the Washington Post, "the passenger who was taken off the plane was 'transported to a local hospital for observation,'" and the man has not been charged, according to Kimberly Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
"Local law enforcement officials met the aircraft at the gate and detained the passenger," United Airlines spokesman Luke Punzenberger told Mic. "We are accommodating the remaining customers to Denver this morning."
According to the Associated Press, after the incident, one of the pilots classified it as a "Level 2" disturbance, which is the second lowest of a four-level scale of severity used by airlines. Level 2 disturbances indicate physically abusive, but no life-threatening behavior.
United has rescheduled the remaining passengers for a Denver-bound flight on Tuesday morning.
Since Sept. 11, Americans have been on high alert for anything suspicious regarding terrorism and airlines. It was only in 2009 that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with a bomb in his underwear.