Passenger disturbance diverts Southwest flight to Arkansas

A passenger disturbance on a Southwest Airways flight prompted its diversion to Little Rock, Arkansas, on Saturday on one of many 12 months’s busiest journey weekends.

An individual was taken into custody by FBI brokers, the bureau’s Connor Hagan mentioned. Potential expenses could be the duty of the U.S. Lawyer in Arkansas.

“The FBI is the first federal company approved to research potential assault aboard plane violations,” Hagan mentioned by e mail. “We’ll work intently with the prosecutors at the US Lawyer’s Workplace for the Japanese District of Arkansas to totally examine this incident and doubtlessly carry federal expenses.”

The precise nature of the disturbance on board the Columbus, Ohio-bound flight from Houston wasn’t fully revealed. However in an interview, Hagan famous that any bodily confrontation or assault on board a U.S. passenger airplane comes beneath the FBI’s purview as soon as the plane leaves its gate.

No accidents had been reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration mentioned the disturbance on flight 192 prompted the Boeing 737’s crew to declare an emergency and divert the plane to Invoice and Hillary Clinton Nationwide Airport in Little Rock about 3 p.m.

“The plane was met by the Transportation Safety Administration and native legislation enforcement,” the company mentioned in a press release.

The disturbance got here amid one of many 12 months’s busiest journey weekends, when many Individuals partook in Thanksgiving reunions following the top of pandemic isolation.

The AAA forecast that journey quantity on the bottom, within the air, and on the water would return to close pre-pandemic ranges this week, with greater than 53.4 million folks anticipated to depart their house cities and cities for Thanksgiving.

On Monday, authorities alleged, a Utah man held a straight-edge razor close to one other passenger’s throat on a New York Metropolis-to-Salt Lake Metropolis flight. He was charged with assault with a harmful weapon.

TJ Swigart and Michelle Acevedo contributed.

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