PORTLAND, Ore. – A flight from Portland to Sacramento took a terrifying turn after a woman threatened to “kill everybody” on the plane.
Authorities say that 24-year-old Valerie Curbello was caught smoking in the plane’ lavatory. When she was caught, witnesses say she became “uncontrollable” and then threatened to “kill everybody on this plane.”
Passengers and the flight crew restrained Curbello before she was escorted off the plane and arrested.
Southwest Airlines released the following statement regarding the incident:
“Our Crew in command of Flight 2943 traveling from Portland on Saturday afternoon safely landed on-time in Sacramento following an inflight disturbance. 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. The flight carried 136 Customers and a Crew of five.”
Friends tell KOIN that Curbello may have been having a mental health crisis at the time of the incident.