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A Southwest Flight Was Delayed 5 Hours After A Human Heart Was Discovered On Board

The airline is very sorry for the inconvenience and delays caused to customers by the human organ shipment.

Posted on December 13, 2018, at 12:48 p.m. ET

Mark Makela / Reuters

A Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle on Sunday was forced to turn around after crew members discovered “a life-critical cargo shipment on board” that contained a human heart.

The organ was intended to be delivered to a local hospital in Seattle, so the pilot made the decision to return to the city mid-flight so that it could be “delivered to its destination within the window of time allotted” for a human heart, a spokesperson for the company told BuzzFeed News.

Furthermore, once back in Seattle, the plane had to be taken out of service due to a “mechanical issue.” Another plane was then brought in to finally complete the trip to Dallas.

The incident caused a five-hour delay for passengers. And Southwest Airlines is very sorry.

“We sincerely regret the inconvenience to the customers impacted by the delay, and we are following up with them with a gesture of goodwill to apologize for the disruption to their travel,” the spokesperson for the company 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.”

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.