In a horrific turn of events, the emergency door of an Asiana Airlines flight in South Korea was opened midair by a passenger. The incident took place shortly before landing, and the plane, with 194 passengers onboard, was somehow able to land safely.
The accused was later arrested at the airport. All the passengers are reported to be out of danger, but a few had to be taken to the hospital due to breathing problems. A video of the incident, recorded from inside the plane, is now going viral on social media.
Asiana Airlines Flight Emergency Door Opened by Passenger Before Landing
The flight, number OZ8124, was going from Jeju Island to Daegu International Airport in South Korea on Friday. The plane took off at 11:45 am local time. As it was about to land an hour later, the emergency door was opened by a male passenger.
The plane was still some 250 m above the ground, and two to three minutes away from landing when the incident happened. Flight attendants had already been seated as they awaited landing, and hence could not stop the man from opening the door.
The video of the chaos is doing the rounds on social media, which shows an unlocked door on the left side of the plane, as strong winds enter the fight, almost shaking the seated passengers. The plane eventually landed safely, but 12 passengers complained of breathing difficulties due to hyperventilation, of which nine were rushed to the hospital.
The Accused has been Arrested
The local police in Daegu have arrested the accused. The man, in his 30s, has reportedly confessed to the crime but has not yet revealed the intention behind it. As per some witnesses, the man even tried to jump out of the plane after opening the emergency door.
He could be prosecuted and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison as per the country’s Aviation Security Act. “It is difficult to have a normal conversation with him. We will investigate the motive of the crime and punish him,” stated a police official.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea has now released a statement, confirming that an investigation is underway. An aviation safety team has also been sent to the scene to check if the aircraft had any maintenance issues.
Eye Witnesses Share Details of the Incident
The passengers onboard have now shared the details of the panic they went through midair. “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,” revealed a 44-year-old passenger.
A number of schoolchildren were also on board for a sporting event. “The children were shaking, crying, and frightened,” said the mother of one of the children. Meanwhile, aviation experts have described the event as ‘bizarre’, adding that the door could have opened as the plane was near the ground, and the inside and outside cabin pressure were similar.
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