United Airlines has confirmed that the flight attendant who intentionally deployed the emergency slide on a Boeing 737 this week is no longer employed by the airline.
The incident occurred on Monday in Houston as United Flight 1246 pulled into the gate after arriving from Sacramento, California.
According to the airline, a female member of the cabin crew deliberately opened the right front door of the jet, deployed the emergency-evacuation chute, and jumped out of the aircraft.
Even though the airline has confirmed the status of the flight attendant’s employment, it has not revealed what caused the attendant to engage in the mysterious act.
United Airlines told Business Insider that, although there was a medical situation reported on board, it was unrelated to the incident.
The airline has also declined to comment on the situation surrounding the flight attendant’s departure from the carrier, citing the incident as a private matter between employer and former employee.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an investigation into the incident.
“We do not discuss ongoing investigations,” an FAA representative told Business Insider in an email. “But these slides are supposed to be activated only during emergencies.”
Flight operations at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport were not delayed. The Boeing 737-900 was taken out of service, and the slide was refitted on the aircraft.
But the incident could cost the airline between $6,000 and $12,000 just to repack the undamaged slide into its container. Repairing and repacking a damaged slide could run as high as $30,000.