Passenger opens plane door on runway at Los Angeles airport and flees on deployed slide

A passenger opened an emergency exit door on a Delta Airlines flight on Saturday as the plane pulled away from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), police said.

The man escaped via the deployed slide and jumped onto a baggage cart before being detained.

He had been traveling on a Delta Air Lines flight 1714 from Los Angeles to Seattle when he got out of his seat around 10am on Saturday.

Fellow passengers told Fox 11 that the passenger asked a flight attendant: “What do I do now?” before he was asked to sit down.

He then ran to one of the doors, turned the latch, and leapt onto the emergency slide which had deployed.

He then got into the passenger seat of a baggage vehicle and was detained by luggage workers until police arrived, passengers told the TV station.

“The aircraft was holding to taxi for takeoff when the passenger exited the aircraft and was initially detained by Delta staff ahead of being arrested by local law enforcement,” Delta Airlines said in a statement on Sunday.

LAX Police Captain Karla Rodriguez later told The Associated Press that the man was not arrested but instead “transported to a local hospital for mental evaluation”. She added that the FBI was also notified.

The plane returned to the gate and passengers were put on another plane, according to Delta.