Lifestyle & Belief

Passenger tries to open emergency exit on flight during plane's descent


Russia is banning all of its civilian aircraft from flying through Syrian air space after one of its passenger planes was threatened on Monday.



A passenger on a commercial flight from Alaska to Oregon was arrested Monday after trying to open an emergency exit during the plane's descent.

Other passengers on the Alaska Airlines flight had to help restrain 23-year-old Alexander Michael Herrera with shoelaces and seatbelt extensions. Witnesses told the FBI he had made "unusual statements" before trying to open the plane door.

Henry Pignataro, who was also on the flight, said a woman seated next to Herrera asked for help.

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"I put him in a choke hold and brought him down to the ground," Pignataro said.

Herrera, believed to be from Arizona, stood up and tried to open the emergency exit door about 10 minutes before the flight was scheduled to land. At the time, the plane was at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

After Pignataro and another man held Herrera down and bound his legs with the shoelaces and seatbelt extensions, he was placed in a seat where he calmly sat "surrounded by big guys" for the nine minutes left in the flight.

Herrera was booked into a Portland jail on a charge of interfering with a flight crew. He is expected to make his first appearance in court on Tuesday.