Passenger unrest diverts Southwest flight to Arkansas
A passenger disturbance on a Southwest Airlines flight caused it to be diverted to Little Rock, Arkansas, on Saturday on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
One person was taken into custody by FBI agents, the office’s Connor Hagan said. The possible charges would be the responsibility of the United States Attorney in Arkansas.
“The FBI is the primary federal agency authorized to investigate possible assault violations on board aircraft,” Hagan said by email. “We will work closely with prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas to fully investigate this incident and possibly file federal charges.”
The exact nature of the disturbance aboard the Columbus, Ohio-bound flight from Houston was not fully disclosed. But in an interview, Hagan pointed out that any physical confrontation or assault on board a US airliner falls under the control of the FBI once the plane leaves the gate.
No injuries were reported.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the disturbance on Flight 192 prompted the crew of the Boeing 737 to declare an emergency and divert the aircraft to Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock around 3 p.m.
“The aircraft was received by the Transportation Security Administration and local police,” the agency said in a statement.
The riot came amid one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, when many Americans took part in Thanksgiving gatherings following the end of the pandemic lockdown.
the AAA The volume of travel by land, air and water is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels this week, with more than 53.4 million people expected to leave their home cities and towns for Thanksgiving.
On Monday, authorities alleged, a Utah man held a razor close to the throat of another passenger on a flight from New York City to Salt Lake City. He was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.
T.J. Swigart Y Michelle Acevedo contributed.