Update: Airline offers explanation — says unprotected man was a "protocol supervisor."
Images emerged Wednesday of officials loading the second Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola onto a plane headed for Atlanta to receive treatment at Emory Hospital — and Americans quickly noticed something very strange about the scene.
Among several workers wearing hazmat suits on the runway of Dallas Love Field was a man wearing plain clothes and no apparent protective gear.
Plain Clothes Man at #Ebola Scene Perplexes Viewers http://t.co/oWkDj6Pe0x pic.twitter.com/ecjiXDF1J7
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) October 15, 2014
NBC DFW explained what occurred on the runway:
The unidentified man stood very near another hazmat-suited worker and then took what appeared to be a container from one of the suited workers. He placed it on the steps to the jet and walked out of view.
He then reappeared as one of the PPE-suited workers came off the plane with red hazmat bags. He took what appeared to be a not-yet-used red bag from the worker in protective gear, then handed it to the workers as they bagged up items from the ambulance ride.
Then he conversed with two workers wearing respirators while the red hazmat bags were loaded onto the plane. He then grabbed the container from the stairs and got on the plane which departed Love Field en route to Atlanta.
The news station had not determined why the man wasn't required to wear protective gear, though it was speculated that he may have been a member of the flight crew in charge of flying Vinson to Atlanta.
Watch raw video footage below:
People were left confused and frustrated over the mystery man in plain clothes:
"@NBCDFW: Plain Clothes Man at #Ebola Scene Perplexes Viewers http://t.co/GKnOncnOMG pic.twitter.com/O2KrAy89wj" makes no sense
— Barry Thomas (@BarryThomas57) October 16, 2014
“@NBCDFW: Plain Clothes Man at #Ebola Scene Perplexes Viewers http://t.co/doniR28rIP pic.twitter.com/L20NhSXgwV” what is he thinking????
— Jimmy Terry (@jtandtheknee) October 16, 2014
#UNPROTECTED! “@NBCDFW: Plain Clothes Man at #Ebola Scene Perplexes Viewers http://t.co/XNOI1fZ4IR pic.twitter.com/NJGsv4JrSk”
— Mary Mauldin (@marymauldin) October 16, 2014
yes because wtf?NRT @NBCDFW: Plain Clothes Man at #Ebola Scene Perplexes Viewers http://t.co/PVcb0wfe9N pic.twitter.com/3TM8VHDhPh
— Mistressnancy (@Mistressnancy) October 16, 2014
“@NBCDFW: Plain Clothes Man at #Ebola Scene Perplexes Viewers http://t.co/hWQLkTZd3U pic.twitter.com/BQ9uu2V4QK” Uhhhhh...are we stupid?
— Chris Gonzalez (@ChrisMGmusic) October 16, 2014