South Korea

Passenger opens plane exit door during flight; 12 injured

Passenger opens plane exit door during flight; 12 injured

Seoul – Twelve people were slightly injured when a passenger opened an emergency exit door on a plane in South Korea on Friday, causing an air explosion in the cabin, officials said. The plane landed safely.

Some people on the Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 tried to stop the person, but the person managed to open part of the door, the transportation ministry said.

The foreign ministry statement said the person was detained by airport police on suspicion of violating aviation security laws. The person’s identity and motive were not immediately released.

The ministry said the law prohibits passengers from operating exit doors and other equipment on planes and provides for a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The plane with 194 people on board was bound for the southeastern city of Daegu from the southern island of Jeju. The flight time is usually about an hour, and the accident happened when the plane arrived at Daegu Airport at an altitude of 700 feet (213 meters).

A video posted on social media apparently taken by the flight crew showed the hair of some passengers being tousled by air blowing into the cabin through an open door.

Among the passengers were teenage athletes heading to a track meet. Yonhap news agency, citing unidentified coaches, reported that some people screamed and cried in panic.

Yonhap news agency quoted other passengers as saying they felt severe pain in their ears after the doors were opened. Some crew members allegedly yelled for help to passengers to prevent the doors from opening.

Twelve people were taken to hospital for treatment, according to the transport ministry. Daegu emergency officials said the injured had difficulty breathing and other mild symptoms.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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