Outburst From Flight Attendant Delays Chicago Takeoff

By: From CNN, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From CNN, Posted by Ralph Hipp

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As an American Airlines plane taxied for takeoff at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Friday morning, a flight attendant ranted on the plane's intercom, repeatedly telling passengers that she was not responsible for the safety of the plane and wrestling with another flight attendant for control of the plane's public address system, according to a passenger on the flight.

Airline and government officials confirmed the disruption on American Airlines Flight 2332, which forced the plane to return to the gate and led to two flight attendants being taken to the hospital.

Several passengers restrained the disruptive attendant, said Laurie Grabe, a Traverse City, Michigan, woman who witnessed the event from her ninth-row seat.

She said that as the plane was taxiing for takeoff, she and other passengers first heard the flight attendant on the intercom sounding disgruntled and alluding to unsuccessful efforts to talk to the pilots.

The flight attendant said, "OK, if you don't hear me, then I give up. I'm not responsible if this plane crashes." She also "said something about opening the doors."

At first, "everybody was laughing because it sounded like she (had) accidentally turned on" the intercom, Grabe said.

Then, other flight attendants intervened, "telling her to turn off the PA, not to talk like that," she said.

"Everybody was starting to look at each other, like 'Oh, my God, What's going on here?' "

When other flight attendants started wrestling for control of the microphone, several passengers joined in, Grabe said. They "threw her into the first row of seats and held her down."

She said the attendant started "screaming bloody murder." Her screams sounded "demonic," Grabe said. The attendant "mentioned crashing at least four times."

Grabe said an official who boarded the plane said the attendant had a reaction to medication. The attendant was taken to a hospital for evaluation, officials said. A second flight attendant who may have been injured while restraining the first one also was taken to a hospital. An airline spokesman acknowledged the incident but said passengers were not in danger.

"We continue to investigate the details and circumstances," American Airlines spokesman Ed Martelle said.

"We will ensure that the affected flight attendants receive proper care, and we commend our other crew members for their assistance in quickly getting the aircraft back to the gate so that customers could be reaccommodated," he said.

"Our customers were not in danger at any time."

After the crew was replaced, the flight departed for Chicago at 9:46 a.m.

David Magana, an airport spokesman, said that police and emergency medical services responded to the incident but that "no state criminal charges are being considered at this time."


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