According to The Associated Press, witnesses claimed the teenager was in emotional distress during Copa Airlines Flight 208 from Panama City, Panama, to San Francisco when it landed in California Tuesday.
San Francisco airport officials said a 17-year-old boy was detained by crew members Tuesday after he opened an emergency gate of a Copa Airlines flight waiting to taxi to its arrival gate and jumped onto the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport.
Officials say the teen, who is a US citizen, was accosted by a construction crew working nearby on the airfield.
It's unclear what charges, if any, the teen might face.
Copa Airlines said in a statement that emergency exits over wings are meant to be opened by passengers at lower altitudes to allow evacuations in emergencies.
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Yakel says the plane went to its assigned gate and all passengers got off the flight without incident. Law enforcement took the teen into custody, according to the airline.
However, passenger Isaac Rodrigues told the Los Angeles Times that a flight attendant had to block the opening with her body as there was no door to close after the teen had jumped.
No runways were affected, and there was no operational impact as a result, SFO spokeperson Doug Yakel said.
Other flights at the airport were able to operate as normal throughout the incident.
A passenger has opened an aeroplane door and jumped out prior to the plane arriving at the terminal in San Francisco.