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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Man who opened plane door during flight ‘felt suffocated and wanted off’

A passenger who opened an emergency exit door during a flight in South Korea told police he felt suffocated and tried to get off the plane quickly as it approached landing, according to reports.

Twelve people were slightly injured when the man opened the door of the Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 on Friday, causing air to blast inside the cabin.

The plane, which was flying to the city of Daegu from the southern island of Jeju, landed safely.

The man was detained by police in Daegu for allegedly violating aviation security law.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

The 33-year-old told police he had wanted to get off the plane because he was feeling suffocated, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the force.

Yonhap said the man told police he had suffered stress after losing his job recently.

Other South Korean media carried similar stories on the man’s motive.

The reports said Daegu police requested a warrant to formally arrest him.

Calls to Daegu police were unanswered early on Sunday.

Reached by the Associated Press earlier, Daegu police officers refused to provide details about the man, citing privacy issues.

The plane was carrying 194 people, including teenage athletes on their way to a track and field competition.

The man pulled the door open when the plane was reaching the Daegu airport at an altitude of 700 feet (213 metres).

The people taken to hospital were mainly treated for minor problems such as breathing difficulties.

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