Bound Southwest Flight Turns Around After Human Heart Discovered Onboard


Seattle-area hospitals that were contacted said they knew nothing about a possible heart transplant, the newspaper reported.

The human heart that was left on a Southwest Airlines flight after someone forgot to unload it in Seattle over the weekend was being sent to an area tissue processor to recover a valve.

Once the aircraft landed it was taken out of service, but for an unrelated mechanical issue. Passengers boarded a different plane to continue their journey to Dallas. A nonstop flight between the cities can take close to two hours.

"We sincerely regret the inconvenience to the customers impacted by the delay", the spokesperson said.

The decision to turn the plane around was made "to ensure the shipment was delivered to its destination within the window of time allotted by our cargo customer", the spokesman said.

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A spokesperson for organ-procurement organizations in Washington and California also told the Seattle Times that they never use commercial flights to transport organs, because of the time sensitive nature of organ transplants.

Dr. Andrew Gottschalk was traveling on the flight and told the paper that while everyone aboard "was happy to save a life", he still thought the incident was a "horrific story of gross negligence".

It's not known whether or not someone's life was in danger because of the mishap or if the heart made it to its intended recipient, according to the report.

The mishap occurred a few days after another Southwest airlines flight overran the runway as it was trying to land at Hollywood Burbank Airport in California.

A U.S. passenger plane has turned around mid-flight after finding a human heart onboard that was meant to be delivered to a hospital.