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Jet Passenger Attacks Cockpit, Dies

August 13, 2000

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ A 19-year-old passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight tried to break into the cockpit, then died of an apparent heart attack after being taken into custody, an airline spokesman said Saturday.

The man, on a flight from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, was pulled off the plane by airport security when the plane landed Friday night, Southwest spokesman Ed Stewart said.

Officers at the Salt Lake City International Airport identified the man as Jonathan Burton of Las Vegas and said he had suffered a heart attack.

``The plane was about 20 minutes from landing and that’s when this gentleman did go into a rage and tried apparently to break into the cockpit doors,″ Stewart said Saturday.

``Up until 20 minutes before the flight landed, everything was fine,″ Stewart said. ``For all we know, he could have had a seizure or something.″

Stewart said crew members tried to restrain the man, but it took half a dozen passengers to help hold him down.

Airport duty manager Dennis Andersen said the man went into cardiac arrest after being pulled off the plane by airport security. He said no other information was immediately available, except that the case had been handed over to the FBI.

No one else on board the plane, carrying 121 passengers and five crew members, was reported injured.

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On the Net:

Salt Lake City airport: http://www.quickaid.com/airports/slc/

Southwest Airlines: http://www.southwest.com/

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