Passenger Opened Plane’s Emergency Door in Midair Coz He Wants to Get Off The Plane “Quickly”

Last Updated on 2023-05-30 , 10:18 am

Travel has resumed now that it looks like the worst of the COVID-19 situation is over. People can’t seem to wait to hop on a plane to head to their next destination.

But what some travellers seem to forget is how dangerous flying can be. From the risk of your plane being struck by lightning to fires starting in the cabin of the plane, there can be many things that go wrong on your next flight.

Not to mention how the unpredictable behaviour of some erratic passengers can put your life at risk.

In South Korea, one errant passenger’s selfish actions put the lives of many of his fellow passengers at risk.

This is what happened.

Man Opened Emergency Plane Door Before the Flight Landed

Earlier this week, an Asian Airlines flight bound for Daegu, South Korea, landed safely despite a passenger opening the plane door while it was still in flight.

This was a domestic flight from the southern island of Jeju to Daegu, which is about 240 km southeast of Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

At the time the door was opened, the plane was about 700 feet (approximately 213 m) above the ground. It was preparing to land at Daegu International Airport and had almost 200 people on board the carrier.

The plane landed at 12.40 pm local time (which is 11.40 am Singapore time).

The culprit for this harrowing experience was a male passenger in his thirties. He had apparently felt “uncomfortable” and “wanted to get off the plane quickly”, reported Yonhap News.

The man was also reportedly suffering from stress after losing his job.

According to South Korea’s Transportation Ministry, the police took the perpetrator into custody and started an investigation into the likelihood of violation of aviation safety laws once the Airbus A321-200 landed safely.

Local laws in South Korea prohibit passengers from handling exit doors and other equipment on board. Those who violate these regulations may face penalties of up to ten years in prison, the Transportation Ministry shared.

The man had allegedly opened the emergency exit door “manually by touching the lever”, as shared by the airline’s representative speaking to the media outlet AFP.

Aeroplane doors are typically difficult to open mid-flight due to the pressure differences within the cabin and outside the plane.

However, the door may have opened in this case as the plane was landing, and the pressure difference inside and outside the cabin may not have been so great.

Reuters also reported that Jin Seong-hyun, a former Korean Air cabin safety official, said this case was unprecedented as far as he was aware.

However, there have been instances where unruly passengers opened emergency exits without authorisation while the plane was on the ground.

What a scary experience to go through.

Strong Winds Seen Blowing Through the Plane Due to Open Door

If you have ever wondered whether what you see in movies about air ripping through the plane when the plane door opens mid-flight is accurate, this is your chance to find an answer.

It seems that movie portrayals of air whipping through the cabin is quite accurate to an extent.

No humans were seen flying around, though. Probably due to the strict requirement to remain seated with the seatbelt securely fastened when the plane is landing.

In a TikTok video posted on the popular social media platform by user @whatsotv1, strong winds can be seen whipping through the cabin as the passengers who are presumably struggled to stay in their seats while being battered by the wind.

@whatsotv1아시아나항공 비상문열림♬ 오리지널 사운드 – whatsotv1

The cloth covering the headrest of the seat can also be seen whipping around.

Image: TikTok (@whatsotv1)

In another video posted on the TikTok account @channelnewsasia, which credits Reuters for the video, the same sight of headrest covers whipping in the air can be seen from a different angle.

@channelnewsasia An Asiana Airlines passenger was detained after he opened the door of the plane mid-air, minutes before it was due to land. #asianaairlines #southkorea #jeju #daegu #koreanews ♬ original sound – CNA

There is also a loud rushing sound in the background of the video, presumably due to the strong winds entering the cabin.

ABC News reported that some of the passengers on the flight who were put through this ordeal included teenage athletes on their way to a track and field competition.

An unidentified coach revealed that some of the youngsters screamed and cried in panic.

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No Casualties but 9 People Were Sent to the Hospital

Thankfully, there were no deaths as a result of this stunt the male passenger pulled.

However, not everyone escaped unscathed.

Yonhap News reported that some passengers reported experiencing severe ear pain after the door opened. This could be attributed to the sudden change in cabin pressure upon the opening of the emergency exit.

Also, at least nine of the passengers were sent to the hospital as they faced breathing issues.

Thankfully, there did not appear to be any lasting damage suffered.

They were all reportedly dismissed from the hospital within two hours of arrival, a fire department official from South Korea shared with Reuters.