The Latest: Witness says teen opened airplane door quickly

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a teenager who opened a plane's emergency door and jumped onto a tarmac shortly after landing in San Francisco (all times local):

8 p.m.

Passengers of a Copa Airlines flight say a teenage boy who opened an emergency door and jumped to a tarmac was very quick and that people sitting next to him didn't have time to stop him.

Sophia Gibson tells San Francisco television station KGO-TV ( ) people sitting next the 17-year-old were surprised when he jumped out of the plane and onto a wing shortly after the plane landed at the San Francisco Airport.

Gibson, who lives in San Jose, says it doesn't seem the boy gave signs he was about to open the door.

Matt Crowder, of Athernon, tells San Jose television station KNTV ( people sitting near the exit row stood up when the boy jumped out and started to shout.

He says they were yelling to tell the flight attendants that the door was open and someone had jumped off.


7:10 p.m.

Copa Airlines says one of its planes had landed in San Francisco and was heading to a gateway when a 17-year-old boy sitting in an exit row unexpectedly opened the emergency door, slid down the plane's wing and jumped onto a tarmac.

Airport spokesman Doug Yakel says a construction crew working nearby confronted the teenager and held him until police arrived and arrested him.

The Panama-based airline said in a brief statement Tuesday that a crew member on Copa Airlines Flight 208 closed the door and the plane then taxied to the gate, where all passengers got off the flight without incident.

Yakel says the teenager is a U.S. citizen and was traveling alone on the flight from Panama City, Panama, to San Francisco.

The airline says it is cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation.


3:59 p.m.

San Francisco airport officials say a teenage boy opened the emergency door of a plane that had just landed and jumped onto the tarmac.

Airport spokesman Doug Yakel says an airfield construction crew confronted the 17-year-old boy, who has been arrested and is in police custody.

He says Copa Airlines Flight 208 from Panama City landed Tuesday afternoon and was waiting to head to a gate when the teenager, who appeared to be in emotional distress, jumped from the aircraft.

Yakel says the teenager is a U.S. citizen and was traveling alone.

He says no runways or flights were affected and that the unidentified boy wasn't injured.

Yakel says the plane went to its assigned gate and all passengers got off the flight without incident.

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