Officials at San Francisco Airport have reported a 17-year-old, who has been detained for opening an emergency gate of a Copa Airlines flight as it was taxiing to the arrival gate. The adolescent apparently jumped onto the tarmac at the International Airport.


The young man reportedly opened the emergency door before any of the crew of passengers could act. Thankfully, he remained unharmed after the fall.


SFO officials, Customs and Border Protection are running an investigation into the incident. According to other passengers on the flight, the boy seemed extremely anxious and distressed for the duration of the seven-hour flight from Panama City. He was fidgeting and breathing heavily, which suggests he may have been experiencing a panic attack.


“As the plane landed, a kid opened the emergency exit, jumped out onto the wing and then slipped off," witness Matt Crowder told NBC News



Passengers sitting close to the exit row stood up in a panic when the boy jumped out of the emergency door.


"They were yelling, 'Tell the flight attendants. Relay the message back. The door is open. Someone jumped off.' It was pretty crazy," Matt added. 


Isaac Rodrigues, a witness to the scene, said a flight attendant used her whole body to block the gap where the door had been until the plane was safely at the gate.


"They put one of the stewardesses to block it so no one would fall out of there or leave," he said. "We were on the runway for about an hour."



“No runways were affected, and there was no operational impact as a result,” San Francisco Airport spokesperson Doug Yakel said.


"You see it all at SFO. Copa Airlines lands at SFO and a passenger could not wait until they got to the gate so said passenger opens the over wing emergency exit and jumps out on to runway 28L."


In May of this year, an airline passenger was arrested after an incident which involved the passenger trying to bite a flight attendant before opening the main door of an American Airlines flight, and leapt on to the tarmac at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina.


Let's hope that everyone involved in this story is OK and getting the support they need.