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Mid air scare prompts Chicago flight diversion

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A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Sacramento on Sunday was diverted to Nebraska after a passenger reportedly tried to exit mid-air.

U.S. Air marshals aboard Southwest Airlines flight 722 subdued the man until the pilot made an emergency landing at Omaha and the suspect was led away in handcuffs by police and TSA agents.

A passenger who witnessed the incident said a man began acting strangely during the flight, and that at one point he came out of the bathroom soaking wet. She said when he went to the back of the cabin to try to pry open the door, a flight attendant screamed for help.

Once the plane landed, a doctor told local news station KCRA that 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. Another passenger said the man "was going to do bad things to the plane."

Southwest Airlines flight 722 with five crew members and 134 passengers arrived safely in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule, the airline said in a statement.

Increasingly, reports of similar mid-flight incidents involving unruly passengers are becoming the norm. The overwhelming majority of the incidents involve claims of mental illness.

Officials have not announced charges in Sunday night's incident. However, in previous cases unruly passengers are charged with interfering with the flight crew rather than terrorism related charges.



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