An El Al airline passenger tried to jump out of the aircraft after opening the emergency exit of the flight that landed at New York's John F. Kennedy airport, Wednesday.
The incident happened after Flight LY001 from Tel Aviv to New York, carrying 400 passengers, arrived at the gate at around 9 p.m. EDT. The male passenger, who was only identified as a U.S. citizen, hung onto the emergency exit door after managing to open it, while a couple of flight attendants held onto him to prevent him from jumping.
"A passenger with American citizenship opened one of the rear passenger doors that are not intended for passengers," El Al said in a statement. "Two El Al crew members who noticed the passenger were cool and resourceful when they grabbed the passenger who was hanging from the door and prevented him from jumping from a great height and thus saved his life."
According to Times of Israel, the passenger had to make a jump of 5.2 meters (17 feet) – which was the distance between the door of a Boeing 747-400 and the concrete floor of the tarmac. Eventually, the crew members had to use a ladder to bring the passenger safely to the ground.
One of the crew members who witnessed the incident said the passenger tried to flee after climbing down the ladder but was restrained by the security and detained for questioning. He was arrested by the local police later. El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin praised the staff for "preventing a serious incident and loss of human life."
In March, a woman was forcibly restrained by passengers after reportedly attempting to open an emergency exit on a Republic Airline flight from Indianapolis to Detroit. Officials said they believe the woman did not have ill-intent and was dealing with a medical issue.
"We're aware of an incident which occurred on our flight 5972 on Monday evening. While we can confirm that the flight landed without incident and ahead of schedule, we're unable to further comment as this matter is still being investigated. We apologize to any passengers who were affected by this incident," Republic Airline said in a statement.
It added: "After conducting an assessment of the incident and in consultation with the United States Attorney's Office, it was determined no further investigation was warranted and no federal charges would be filed against the passenger."
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.