Witnesses: Passenger tried to open door midflight

'Unruly' man taken off Southwest jet

Headline Goes Here Sam Meyer/CNN

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California-bound Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Omaha, Neb. after witnesses said a passenger tried to open a door midflight.

The airline said the Chicago-to-Sacramento plane landed on Eppley Airfield Sunday to "have an unruly passenger removed" before continuing on to its destination.

Witnesses say they started hearing frantic noises in the back of the plane. The stewardess ran to the back and found the man trying to open the rear exit door, according to passengers.

A doctor onboard told KCRA-TV he and two other passengers tackled the man and restrained him until air marshals escorted him off the plane. Scott Porter said the man "was going to do bad things to the plane."

"It was a very scary situation and fear immediately sets in to everyone," said Natalie Lee, a passenger on the flight. "We had people nauseated, practically fainting and crying."

The flight with 5 crew members and 134 passengers arrived in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule.

The airline had no further details about the passenger. A call to the Omaha Airport Authority wasn't immediately returned.

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