Delta Passenger Detained for Opening Plane Door and Deploying Exit Slide Before Takeoff at LAX

The unidentified man tried to open an emergency exit door as the plane was pushing back for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Saturday morning

Authorities are investigating an incident in which a man aboard a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Seattle opened an emergency exit door as the plane was leaving Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday morning.

According to the Los Angeles Airport Police, the unidentified man was detained at approximately 10 a.m., Capt. Karla Rodriguez told NBC Los Angeles.

Neither Rodriguez nor a representative or Delta Air Lines immediately responded to PEOPLE's requests for additional comments.

Passengers reportedly observed the man interacting with a flight attendant as the plane pushed back from the gate.

"He clearly was agitated, or nervous or anxious or freaked out about something," Gillian Sheldon, a passenger, told the news station.

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Delta plane
Delta Air Lines plane. Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

She continued, "She looked at him and said, 'You need to go back to your seat,' and he said, 'What do I do now?' and turned and grabbed the door."

Sheldon added, "She said, 'You cannot open the door' and grabbed him, and within 2 seconds, he opened the door."

The man's actions caused the door's emergency slide to deploy, authorities said. Delta staff detained the man until the airport police arrived, NBC News reported.

Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines plane. Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty

Passengers were removed from the plane and transported to another aircraft to continue their flight plans, Rodriguez told the station.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation "has been notified," Rodriguez said, "due to the circumstances."

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