A woman on board a Southwest flight made an “in-flight disturbance” after disabling a smoke detector, the airline confirmed.
A Southwest Airlines pilot was forced to declare an emergency on Saturday, after a passenger repeatedly told a flight attendant she would “kill everyone” on the plane.
The problems started after the female passenger of the disabled a smoke detector on board the Southwest Flight 2943 from Portland, oregon, to Sacramento, and went to smoke on board, Southwest confirmed to Fox News. After she was caught, the woman is a “malfunction”, which was captured on video by a fellow passenger.
“I have a destination for this, I have a destination for myself, and I need to go there,” the woman can be heard saying in footage provided to KOIN 6.
“I swear to god, if you … country, I will kill everyone on this [expletive deleted] airplane,” she shouted. “I will kill everybody in this [expletive deleted] plane!”
A man can then be seen through the frame to the confrontation with the angry passenger.
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The woman, who was later identified as 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo of Sandy, Ore., was physically restrained for the rest of the flight, according to KOVR, although the Southwest has not confirmed this information.
“Our Crew in command of the Flight 2943 travel to Portland on Saturday afternoon landed safely in Sacramento after a flight disruption,” said Southwest in a statement. “Our reports from flight Attendants give to a customer violated federal laws by smoking on board a plane, and by tampering with a smoke detector in an airplane lavatory. Our Crew forced the regulation, and that was followed by the passenger eruption.”
“The safety of the Crew and the Passengers is our top priority and we take all threats seriously. The pilots declared an emergency to receive priority handling from air traffic controllers, and our crew handled the situation on board until the plane landed and the local authorities stepped in.”
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Curbelo is currently booked in the Sacramento county jail for making criminal threats, KOVR adds. They cited “fear” as the reason why she lit a cigarette on board the flight.