Man opens Asiana plane door in mid-air as he was ‘uncomfortable’ , Latest World News - The New Paper

Man opens Asiana plane door in mid-air as he was ‘uncomfortable’

SEOUL – A passenger on an Asiana Airlines flight told police he opened a door on the plane minutes before it landed in Daegu, South Korea, on Friday because he was “uncomfortable”, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The man, in his 30s, told police that he “wanted to get off the plane quickly”, Yonhap said, citing the Daegu Dongbu Police Station. He also said he was stressed after losing his job recently.

The man opened the door when the plane was about 213m above the ground, causing panic on board.

Nine passengers were taken to the hospital with breathing issues. All were discharged after about two hours, a fire department official said.

Police plan to arrest the detained man after investigations conclude, Yonhap said.

He faces up to 10 years in prison for violating aviation safety laws.

A video clip shot by a passenger shows wind ripping through the open door, drawing shouts of surprise from some passengers.

Another video shared on social media shows passengers sitting in the emergency exit row next to an open door being buffeted by strong wind.

A dozen passengers were taken to hospital after experiencing breathing difficulties but there were no major injuries or damage, according to the transport ministry.

“It was chaos with people close to the door appearing to faint one by one and flight attendants calling out for doctors on board,” a 44-year-old passenger told Yonhap.

“I thought the plane was blowing up. I thought I was going to die like this.”

A transport ministry official told AFP that this was “the first such incident” they were aware of in Korean aviation history. Experts said the nation’s aviation industry has a solid safety record.

Mr Jin Seong-hyun, a former Korean Air cabin safety official, said as far has he knew, this case was unprecedented, but that passengers have opened emergency exits without authorisation while the plane is on the ground.

A South Korean transport ministry official said on Friday it is possible to open emergency exits at or near ground level because the pressure inside and outside the cabin is similar. - REUTERS, AFP