Passengers said the teen seemed fidgety and anxious throughout the flight that he acted so quickly, no one had a chance to stop him.
Airport spokesman Doug jaeckel said that the builders who were working near detained the teenager until the police arrived. Police are questioning passengers who were onboard the flight. Watch ABC7 News at 4 p.m. for the latest details on this developing story.
Passenger Matt Crowder said people sitting near the exit row stood up and shouted when the boy jumped.
'It was as if he was like flying out, like it was really fast, ' passenger Sophia Gibson told San Jose television station KNTV.
Yakel said the teen was not injured and air traffic was not affected.
San Francisco airport officials say a teenage boy opened the emergency door of a plane that had just landed and jumped onto the tarmac. And then he just starts running the other way.
A crew member shut the door, and the plane taxied to its gate where everyone safely got off, the Panama-based COPA said in a statement.
Copa Airlines said that an investigation is under way and that the airline is cooperating with authorities. "Moments later I found out that a passenger had opened the emergency exit window and slid down the wing and on to the tarmac".