Lufthansa passenger tries to open plane door midflight

© Ralph Orlowski
A passenger on a Lufthansa flight on its way from Frankfurt to Belgrade on Sunday was detained after he threatened to open the plane door and bring down the aircraft.

Banging on a cockpit door, the man reportedly threated to down the Lufthansa plane as it was flying over Austria. Though he wouldn’t actually have been able to open the doors, he was restrained by the crew and some passengers, Lufthansa said.

"A passenger got up and tried to do something at the door, but was stopped by crew members and other passengers," said Lufthansa spokesman Andreas Bartels.

Flight 1406 eventually landed in Belgrade, its planned destination, where the troublemaker was handed over to local police and arrested. The crew never reported the emergency situation to flight control.

The man, who turned out to be an American citizen of Jordanian descent, is currently being interrogated by the police and will spend 48 hours in detention before facing trial, according to Serbia’s public prosecutor, as reported by the Blic daily.

Milan Djukic, a Serbian handball team player who was on the same plane, said the man had looked suspicious even before they boarded the plane.

“About halfway into the flight he tried to open a plane door, but the cabin crew stopped him,” Djukic told Blic.

"It was a normal door, which of course cannot be opened in-flight... it was not the cockpit door," Bartels also said as quoted by AFP.

Assistant coach Milan Mirkovic and handball player Aleksej Rastvorcev calmed the man down, while other passengers had no idea what was going on, he said, adding that two players kept an eye on the rowdy, who was in business class, for the rest of the flight.