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Pilot's Bathroom Break Triggers Terror Scare

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A pilot on a New York-bound Delta Air Lines flight from Asheville, N.C., became stuck in the airplane’s lavatory Wednesday night as the aircraft approached LaGuardia Airport – and when a passenger with “a thick foreign accent” tried to alert the co-pilot of the situation, ABC News has learned that fighter jets were nearly scrambled.

“The captain has disappeared in the back and I have someone with a thick, foreign accent trying to access the cockpit right now,” the plane’s co-pilot reported to air traffic controllers around 7 p.m., according to

Trapped by a faulty latch on the bathroom door, the pilot apparently got the attention of a passenger, whom he provided the cockpit security code -- a passcode designed to tell cockpit occupants that it is safe to open the secure door.

“What I'm being told is he is stuck in the lav and someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit,” the co-pilot said, “and I'm not about to let him in.”

The exchange took place over a period of about 15 minutes before the plane indicated to LaGuardia's tower that the situation had been resolved. It was during that time, ABC News has learned, that fighter jets were nearly scrambled to the skies.

The flight, Delta 6132, operated by Chautauqua Airlines – a regional carrier for Delta – was told to make an emergency landing and Port Authority Police and the FBI met it when it came in.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio