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United passenger trapped in bathroom forces emergency landing, traveler says

A broken bathroom door created a travel nightmare for passengers on a United Airlines flight on Wednesday — including the one flier who was stuck inside the restroom.

The cross-country flight from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, California, was forced to do an emergency landing at Denver International Airport Wednesday night so the traveler trapped in the plane’s lavatory could be freed, CNN reports.

A traveler recorded video inside the plane that captures crew members as they try to rescue the passenger and fix the jammed door, NBC Bay Area reports.

Denver firefighters responded to the airport around 7 p.m. to help free the woman from the bathroom, with passengers reporting that she had been trapped there for roughly an hour, according to KPIX 5.

KPIX reported that “a passenger also said five firefighters and a mechanic got onboard to quickly free the woman, who was embarrassed, but otherwise unharmed.”

“Well folks it’s never a dull moment on United,” one passenger said on Twitter, according to KPIX, in a post that has been made private. “You can’t make this up…also the Wi-Fi is crappy and there is no way for me to charge my phone, happy travels.”

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CNN reported that “Flight 1554 was originally scheduled to arrive in San Francisco at 8:38 p.m. Wednesday night. The diverted flight arrived in San Francisco after 11 p.m.”

United said in a statement that the airline extended an apology to all the travelers, Fox News reports.

United said “the lavatory door became inoperative,” but “the passenger was safely removed from the lavatory after landing,” according to Fox.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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