This article describes a recent emergency plane evacuation. There were some people who felt their belongings in the overhead compartments were worth so much that they delayed the evacuation of others trying to retrieve them.
I truly don't understand this human behavior. We have seen it before in similar cases. I wouldn't call this an isolated incident. The only reasons I can come up with are 1, They don't understand the seriousness of the emergency. 2,People traveling from poorer countries may have everything they own in that overhead bag, money, passport, etc. 3, Some people just don't react well under the gun. They do not remain cool under pressure and block the emergency out. 4. Greed.
The article suggests putting a locking mechanism on the entire cabin before landing. I don't think this would be wise. those who stop to get their baggage will only take more time trying to get at their items.
I don't have a solution for this behavior, but I do know it irks me to read about it. It doesn't bother me that the person getting their bag suffers the consequences of their actions, its the people who cannot escape due to the ignorance of others that bothers me.
This behavior can come in many forms, road rage, Talking in the movie theater etc. When mountain climbers get trapped on a cliff they are scaling why should a rescue team have to put their lives on the line to save them? They risk injury or death trying to get to them because someone wanted a thrill. I've been on this planet for a long time yet human nature continues to baffle me.