A man was arrested after he climbed onto the wing of a passenger jet preparing for take-off at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport on Saturday, a spokesperson for the airport said.
The Alaska Airlines Flight from Las Vegas to Portland, Oregon, was about to leave the runway when the pilot noticed a man on the tarmac approaching the aircraft and alerted the control tower, CNN reported.
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By the time Las Vegas police and airport authorities could take him into custody, the man had managed to climb onto the aircraft’s wing and had begun to walk along the length of it.
Videos shared by some of the flight’s passengers show the man taking his socks and shoes off before attempting to climb the airplane’s winglet. Just as a law enforcement moved towards him, he lost balance and fell from the wing onto the tarmac below.
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Police arrested him and escorted him to a medical facility, CNN reported. “Our guests and employees are safe and we are working with law enforcement. The plane has returned to the gate for a full inspection,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement.
Police believe that the man had jumped over the airport’s perimeter fence, ran across the tarmac, and climbed onto the wing of the grounded plane.
“Impairment or mental illness is suspected,” Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Lt. Ken Nogle told reporters, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.