Twelve taken to hospital in South Korea after plane passenger opens door mid-flight at 700 feet
26.05.2023 - 14:53
A dozen plane passengers have suffered injuries in South Korea after another passenger opened an emergency exit door during a flight.
The passenger, whose identity has not yet been released, partially opened the door of the Asiana Airlines Airbus A321, causing air to blast inside the cabin. Some other people on board tried to stop the passenger but he was still able to partially open the door, South Korea's transport ministry said.
After the plane landed safely, the person was detained by airport police on suspicion of violating aviation security law. According to the law, passengers are banned from handling exit doors and other equipment on board, with the ministry saying penalties can lead to 10 years in prison.
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The flight, which normally takes around one hour, had 194 people on board and was heading to the south-eastern city of Daegu from the southern island of Jeju. The incident occurred when the plane was approaching Daegu airport at an altitude of 700ft.
A video, supposedly taken by a person on board, was posted on social media and shows some passengers' hair being thrown back by the air flowing into the cabin through the door. Twelve people were taken to hospital for treatment with emergency officials saying those affected suffered breathing problems and other minor symptoms.
Speaking to Yonhap news agency, one passenger said: "It was chaos with people close to the door appearing to faint one by one and flight attendants calling out for doctors on board through broadcasting. I thought the plane was blowing up.
"I thought I was going to die like this."
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