Southwest passenger threatens to ‘kill everybody’ on plane after being caught smoking
A Southwest Airlines pilot was forced to declare an emergency on Saturday after a passenger repeatedly told a flight attendant she would “kill everybody” on the plane.
The trouble started after the female passenger disabled a smoke detector aboard Southwest Flight 2943 from Portland, Ore., to Sacramento, and proceeded to smoke onboard, Southwest confirmed to Fox News. After she was caught, the woman created a “disturbance” which was captured on video by a fellow passenger.
“I have a destination for this, I have a destination for myself, and I need to go there,” the woman can be heard saying in footage provided to KOIN 6.
“I swear, if you … land, I will kill everybody on this [expletive deleted] plane,” she shouted. “I will kill everybody on this [expletive deleted] plane!”
A man can then be seen stepping into the frame to confront the irate passenger.
The woman, who was later identified as 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo of Sandy, Ore., was physically restrained for the remainder of the flight, according to KOVR, although Southwest has not confirmed those details.
“Our Crew in command of Flight 2943 traveling from Portland on Saturday afternoon safely landed on-time in Sacramento following an inflight disturbance,” said Southwest in a statement. “Our reports from Flight Attendants indicate a customer violated federal laws by both smoking onboard an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom. Our Crew enforced the regulation and that was followed by the passenger outburst.”
“The safety of our Crew and Passengers is our top priority and we take all threats seriously. The pilots declared an emergency to receive priority handling from air traffic controllers, and our crew handled the situation onboard until the plane landed and local authorities stepped in.”
urbelo is currently booked in the Sacramento county jail for making criminal threats, KOVR adds. She cited “anxiety” as the reason she lit up a cigarette aboard the flight.