A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 parked at an airport gate was rammed by a pickup truck at Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA) as passengers were boarding.

According to the Dallas-based airline, the incident took place shortly after 9:30 p.m. local time Aug. 25. “Our reports indicate that a civilian breached a perimeter fence,” at the airport, Southwest said in an emailed statement, adding, “The civilian gained access to a vehicle on the ramp and proceeded to drive the vehicle into the nose gear of a Southwest Airlines aircraft that was parked at gate B17.”

Passengers were in the process of boarding the 737, which was preparing to fly to Denver as Flight 3018. Southwest reported “a couple minor injuries to the crew” and a minor injury to one of 18 passengers who were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident.

The Omaha Airport Authority Police Department apprehended the man who commandeered the truck, and he remains in custody, according to the airline. Southwest has removed the aircraft from service to inspect for damage. A replacement Southwest aircraft operated the flight after a three-hour delay.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, police said the man scaled an airside perimeter fence at OMA and—stripped down to his underwear—got in a truck that was unlocked and running. Police pursued the truck, but were unable to stop him before he rammed the aircraft’s nose gear. 

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com