South Korea: Passenger opens plane door midair
A man has been arrested for opening the emergency door of an Asiana Airlines flight as it was landing in South Korea.
All 194 passengers survived the flight, which landed safely but with its door still open at Daegu International Airport on Friday.
Some passengers fainted while others had breathing problems and were taken to hospital, local media reported.
The man, in his 30s, was arrested upon landing, said Yonhap news agency.
Flight OZ8124, an Airbus A321-200 jet, had taken off from Jeju Island on Friday about 11:45 local time (03:45 GMT).
As it was landing about an hour later, a male passenger opened the emergency door while the plane was still 250m from ground.
A passenger’s video shared on social media shows the gap in the left hand side of the plane and winds buffeting rows of seated passengers.
Flight attendants had not been able to stop him because the plane was about to land, witnesses recounted to local media.
They said the man had also tried to jump out of the plane after opening the door.
Passengers have described the panic on board.
“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,” one 44-year-old passenger told Yonhap.
“I thought the plane was blowing up. I thought I was going to die like this,” he added.
Several school-age children had also been on board, on their way to a weekend sporting event.
The mother of one of the students told Yonhap: “The children were shaking, crying, and frightened.”
Police said the suspect had so far not given any explanation for his actions, nor was he drunk at the point of his arrest.
“It is difficult to have a normal conversation with him,” an official said. “We will investigate the motive of the crime and punish him.”