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Passenger detained in South Korea for opening door of plane in flight

An open door of an Asiana Airlines plane is seen at Daegu International Airport in Daegu on May 26, 2023, after it was opened manually by a passenger just 200 meters above the ground before the landing, causing breathing difficulties but without major injury. AFP

A passenger in South Korea opened an emergency exit door during a flight on Friday, causing a gust of air inside the cabin before the plane landed safely, officials said. Some people on the Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 attempted to prevent the person from opening the door, but the door was eventually partially opened.

The plane with 194 people was heading for the southeast city of Daegu from the southern island of Jeju. The flight normally lasts about an hour and details of the incident, including how long the door was open, were under investigation, Asiana Airlines reported. The Associated Press.

Footage from inside the plane shows the wind blowing through the open door in the air, with fabric seatbacks and passengers’ hair flapping wildly as some scream in surprise.

Police arrested the man who opened the door and said he confessed to opening the door but would not say why he did so, reports CNN.

Geoffrey Thomas, an aviation expert said CNN that the incident was “very bizarre”. He said that technically it is not possible to open these doors in flight. “It seems implausible that the door could be opened first and then against the technically impossible draft, but somehow it happened,” Thomas said.

South Korea Yonhap News Agency reported that nine people have been hospitalized. The passengers included teenage athletes who plan to attend athletic competitions in Ulsan, another city in the southeast.

With contributions from agencies

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