American Airlines jet delayed by flight attendant's meltdown

1:28 PM, Mar 9, 2012   |    comments
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DALLAS (AP) -- An American Airlines flight was delayed Friday by
an altercation that passengers say started when a flight attendant
ranted about the plane crashing.

Passengers said several people wrestled the flight attendant
into a seat while the plane was still on the ground at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Bethany Christakos of Dallas, seated toward the rear of the
plane, said passengers started "freaking out" as one of the
flight attendants gave a rambling, 15-minute speech on the plane's
public-address system.

"She said, `I'm not responsible for this plane crashing,"'
Christakos said.

Another passenger, Stephen Tremunde, said, "We were pretty
frightened. She made two comments that if we didn't go back to the gate we would crash."

Brad LeClear of Fox Lake, Ill., said he was one of several passengers who restrained the flight attendant, whom he said acted oddly and mentioned something about 9/11.

"She is obviously sick and needs to take her medicine,"
LeClear said.

Some passengers called 911, while others used the PA system to
beg the pilot to return to the terminal. In a passenger's video
obtained by The Associated Press, a woman can be heard sobbing
while another woman reassures her, "It's OK ... thank goodness
we're on the ground."

A federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of
anonymity because the investigation was continuing said that
airport police determined the incident was a medical issue and not
a security threat.

The official said the flight attendant was taken to Parkland
Hospital in Dallas for evaluation.

After the plane, Flight 2332, had pushed away from the gate
Friday morning, the pilot radioed air traffic controllers for
permission to return to the gate and to be met by airport police.

American Airlines spokesman Ed Martelle said that "an incident
occurred involving some of the cabin crew," and that two flight
attendants were taken to local hospitals for treatment. He declined
to provide their names or information about their injuries or
conditions.

Martelle said the cabin crew was replaced and the plane, Flight
2332, took off for Chicago's O'Hare Airport about 80 minutes behind schedule. He said customers were not in danger at any time.

A spokesman for DFW Airport said no state criminal charges were
being considered.

The Associated Press

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