A Southwest Airlines flight was forced to turn around after crew members found a human heart onboard that was meant to be delivered to a hospital.
Southwest Airlines Flight 3606 was en route to Dallas from Seattle on Sunday when the heart was located on the plane, Seattle Fox affiliate Q13 News reported. While the heart was likely needed for a transplant, its exact purpose is not known.
The pilot and crew made the decision to turn around and ensure the organ was delivered to the hospital as quickly as possible.
“We made the decision to return to Seattle, as it was absolutely necessary to deliver the shipment to its destination,” a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told Q13 News.
Once the flight landed in Seattle, mechanical difficulties forced the already late passengers to deplane and board another aircraft, causing around five hours in delays.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience to the customers impacted by the delay,” a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and the safe delivery of the precious cargo we transport every day.”
The airline told Q13 News it planned to extend a “gesture of goodwill” to inconvenienced travelers.