Southwest flight returns to Seattle after human heart left aboard plane

A Southwest flight bound for Dallas returned to Seattle when airline officials realized a human heart was left on board.

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The "life-critical cargo shipment" intended for a Seattle, hospital was supposed to be removed from the plane's previous flight Dec. 9, KTVT reported.

"We made the decision to return to Seattle as it was absolutely necessary to deliver the shipment to its destination in the Seattle area as quickly as possible," a Southwest official told Newsweek.

The heart would only be good for medical use within a certain amount of time. It’s believed the heart made it back in time, KTVT reported.

However, it is unclear for whom it was intended. Seattle-area hospitals said they were not involved. Organ-procurement organizations in Washington and California said they never use commercial flights for heart transplants.

The plane was taken out of service for an unrelated mechanical issue. Passengers were delayed for about five hours, WFAA reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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