SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CBS SF) – A teenage passenger on a flight that landed at San Francisco International Airport Tuesday left the plane through an emergency exit and has been detained, according to authorities.
SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel confirmed that at around 2:30 p.m. a 17-year-old male U.S. citizen on Copa Airlines flight 208 from Panama City that had landed at the airport left the aircraft through the overwing emergency exit door, jumping down to the tarmac.
The plane was waiting to taxi to its arrival gate when the teen opened the emergency exit and jumped out of the plane.
“We just landed and then I hear some people scream … like, ‘No!'” said 11-year-old passenger Andrea Sepulveda Guzman. “And then this guy, I see him jump on the wing and then he starts climbing down the wing and then he just runs. And then he just starts running the other way. And everyone was just screaming.”
The teen was detained by a member of a construction crew on the tarmac and was later taken into police custody.
The flight continued to taxi to its gate and all the other passengers were offloaded there.
The teen was not injured during the incident and his actions did impacted arriving flights at the airport.
There was no word immediate as to why the teen left the plane. He was not injured.
According to SFO, Customs and Border Protection is handling the investigation into the incident.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Copa Airlines issued the following statement:
“Copa Airlines confirms that upon arrival of today’s flight CM 208 from Panama City (Panama) to San Francisco (United States), a 17-year old passenger sitting in an exit row seat unexpectedly opened the emergency door, and slid down the wing of the aircraft onto the taxiway at San Francisco International Airport. The incident occurred a few minutes after landing, while the aircraft was taxiing to the gate. A Copa crew member closed the exit door, and the aircraft proceeded to the gate where all other passengers and crew disembarked safely. The passenger has been taken into custody by law enforcement. We are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities to support the ongoing investigation.”