Teen opens emergency exit, jumps from jet at San Francisco Airport

Teen opens emergency exit, jumps from jet at San Francisco Airport

Copa Airlines said in a statement that emergency exits over wings are meant to be opened by passengers at lower altitudes to allow evacuations in emergencies.

The plane, a Boeing 737, had been waiting to taxi to its arrival gate after the seven and a half-hour flight, airport officials told NBC Bay Area.

A construction crew approached the teen and San Francisco police took him into custody, according to the statement. The teen was not injured, but was transported to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

According to SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel, no runways were affected and there was no operational impact.

"We just landed and then I hear some people scream ... like, 'No!'" said 11-year-old passenger Andrea Sepulveda Guzman, who was on the plane.

There was no word immediate as to why the teen left the plane. "And then this guy, I see him jump on the wing and then he starts climbing down the wing and then he just runs".

The airline added that an investigation was under way and that it was co-operating with the authorities. "And everyone was just screaming".

'They were yelling "tell the flight attendants, relay the message back, the door's open, someone jumped off",' Crowder told the television station.

The 17-year-old boy opened the door as soon as the flight from Panama City had landed at San Francisco airport.

But passenger Isaac Rodrigues said there was no door to close and a flight attendant blocked the gap with her body and the plane then continued on to the gate.