A man that opened the emergency door of an Asiana Airlines plane in mid-flight he felt “suffocated” and wanted to get out quickly, South Korean police said on Saturday.
The plane was carrying nearly 200 passengers when it arrived at the runway of Daegu International Airport, 240 km south of Seoul, on Friday on a local flight.
When the plane was about 200 meters above the ground, the man in his 30s, according to police, opened the exit door.
The passenger was taken for questioning by Daegu police, explaining that he was “under stress after recently losing his job.”
“He felt the flight was taking longer than it should have and felt suffocated in the cabin,” a Daegu police detective told AFP. “He wanted to get out quickly.”
🇰🇷 | A passenger opened the emergency exit door of an Asiana Airlines plane during a flight in South Korea on Friday, causing a gust of air inside the cabin before the plane landed.
— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) May 27, 2023
The passenger faces 10 years in prison for violating aviation safety laws.
A video taken by a passenger showed the wind blowing through the open door and some people screaming in surprise.
A passenger on an Asiana Airlines plane opened an emergency exit door mid-flight before landing in South Korea. Twelve passengers were hospitalized with breathing difficulties. pic.twitter.com/slR1LRPIpV
— ☛ Viral Moments ☛ (@momentoviral) May 26, 2023
Several passengers were taken to hospital after suffering breathing difficulties, but there were no serious injuries or damage, according to the Ministry of Transport.
“It was chaos with people near the gate appearing to faint one by one, and flight attendants calling the doctors on board,” a 44-year-old passenger told Yonhap news agency.
“I thought the plane was exploding. I thought I was going to die,” he added.
An official from the Ministry of Transportation told AFP it was “the first such incident” he was aware of in Korean aviation history.
Experts say the South Korean airline industry has a strong safety record.
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