Passenger arrested for opening plane door mid-flight over South Korea
The Washington Post May 26, 2023
A passenger caused chaos on an Asiana Airlines flight over South Korea on Friday by opening a door, injuring at least 12 people, who were treated for breathing problems.
The plane was traveling from the southern island of Jeju to the city of Daegu, about an hour away, and was minutes from landing at Daegu International Airport when the incident unfolded. The plane landed safely in Daegu, authorities told the Associated Press.
Police detained a 33-year-old man suspected of throwing the door open, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported. Police said the man confessed to opening the door but would not say why he did it.
South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement that any person who breaches the Aviation Security Act - actions that include passengers operating doors, exits or equipment inside an aircraft - could be prosecuted and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
"I thought the plane was going to explode. ... It looked like passengers next to the open door were fainting," a passenger told Yonhap.
In a video that appeared to have been captured by a passenger and shared widely on social media and distributed by Reuters, wind whips the plane's cabin, battering passengers and sending unsecured fabric flapping.
Flight attendants tried but failed to stop the man, Yonhap reported. "Flight attendants shouted for help from male passengers and people all around clung to him and pulled him in," a witness told the news agency.
The plane was carrying 200 people, including 194 passengers, South Korean outlets reported.
The airline's office at the Daegu International could not immediately be reached for comment.