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Virgin America flight diverted to Omaha after passenger 'became disruptive'

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[September 23, 2014]  (Reuters) - A Los Angeles-bound Virgin America Inc flight was diverted to Omaha on Monday after a passenger "became disruptive" and had to be restrained, an airport official said.

Passengers reported the 28-year-old man tried to open an aircraft door during the flight from Boston.

The Airbus A-319 made an emergency landing at Eppley Airfield just before 10 a.m. local time, said Dennis Messina, an airport operations supervisor.

"The man became disruptive ... and had possibly taken medication of some kind," Messina said.

Police entered the plane after it landed and removed the man. About an hour later, it resumed its path to Los Angeles International Airport, Messina said.

No injuries were reported and the man was taken to an hospital.

A CBS-affiliate in Los Angeles quoted passenger Sam Slater as saying a doctor was called after the man started mumbling about not wanting to become violent and later demanded a seat change after arguing with a nearby woman.

After a doctor took his blood pressure, he was moved to a back row of seats that had been cleared, said Slater, a filmmaker.

"He at that point was fidgeting and began to remove the plastic covering from the emergency exit door, and tried to pull to open the door," Slater said, according to the broadcaster.

"Fortunately there were a couple of Boston police officers on the flight that were there to help as well."

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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