A passenger on a South Korean flight is accused of opening an emergency door Friday before the plane touched down in Daegu, and the tense moments were caught on camera.
Pilots were getting ready to land Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 after departing Jeju when the individual reportedly yanked the door’s handle while the plane was at an altitude of 700 feet, the New York Post reported.
Other travelers tried to keep the individual from touching the door; however, their efforts proved in vain because it opened.
Video footage recorded by someone a few rows away shows strong winds blasting through the cabin as those onboard try to stay calm. The clip also shows the open door after the plane landed and two men checking it:
There were 194 people onboard at the time, including teenage athletes. During the harrowing incident, dozens of passengers had difficulty breathing and were later taken to the hospital, the Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.
However, those individuals were not listed in serious condition. Meanwhile, the suspect, who is in his 30s, was detained on suspicion of pulling the door’s lever.
About a minute before landing, the left aft-wing emergency door L3 on Asiana flight #OZ8124 was opened. The inflatable chute – housed below the door – deployed and was ripped off in the airstream. https://t.co/0q4mwO9GYv
A321 L3 door operation: https://t.co/LRhQL4In7d pic.twitter.com/WsAfvPVGGV
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) May 26, 2023
According to law enforcement, the suspect was not drunk but did not give them much information about the reason behind his alleged actions.
“It is difficult to have a normal conversation with him. We will investigate the motive of the crime and punish him,” one official explained.
Witnesses claimed he tried to leap from the open door, but the flight attendants shouted for help, and everyone got him back to safety.
Another clip shows passengers sitting near the open door, clinging to their seats and leaning away from it as the wind hits their faces:
Well, that’s something you don’t see everyday…passenger opens door mid-flight..plane landed safely, passenger arrestedpic.twitter.com/0H902dT50N
— ◄AbbySoMaddy ► (@AbbySoMaddy) May 26, 2023
When the door opened a few minutes before the plane landed, it made a detonating noise, according to one traveler.
“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 while others were running down the aisle in panic,” the individual recalled.
“I thought the plane was blowing up. I thought I was going to die like this,” he added.
A video from Korea Now shows an image of officials with someone lying on a gurney after the incident:
According to the Post, an official is going to try and determine whether there was something wrong with the airplane’s maintenance.
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