SEOUL (Reuters) – A passenger on board an Asiana Airlines flight (020560.KS) told police he opened a door to the plane minutes before it was due to land in Daegu, South Korea, on Friday because he was “uncomfortable,” Yonhap news agency reported. The agency reported.
The man, in his 30s, was arrested upon landing. On Saturday, Yonhap said, citing Daegu Dongpo Police Station, that he told police he opened the door because he “wanted to get off the plane quickly.”
He also told the police that he was stressed after losing his job recently.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach the police station.
The man opened the door when the plane was about 700 feet (213 m) above the ground, causing panic on board.
Nine passengers were taken to hospital with breathing problems. A fire department official said they were all out after about two hours.
Yonhap said police had requested an arrest warrant for the man, who was detained on Saturday for violating the aviation security law and other offenses. Officials gave the man Lee’s surname but not his full name, as is customary.
A televised video, said to have been taken by a passenger, showed the moments before landing, with the door opening and wind rushing as passengers sat nearby.
Jin Seung-hyun, a former Korean Air Cabin Safety Officer, said that as far as he knew, the accident was unprecedented, but that passengers opened emergency exits without permission while the planes were on the ground.
A South Korean transportation ministry official said Friday that it was possible to open emergency exits at or near ground level because the pressure inside and outside the cabin is the same.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee and Jo Min Park; Editing by Frances Kerry
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