Passenger opens plane door mid-flight on Asiana Airlines flight bound for South Korea
The horrifying moment when the door of an international flight opened while the plane was midair on Friday afternoon was caught on camera.
As the video shows, the door of an Asiana Airlines plane opened as it was about to land in Daegu, South Korea, and wind whipped through the plane’s cabin while frightened passengers clutched their armrests.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Terrifying moment as the plane door opens mid-air on a South Korean Asiana Airlines flight.
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A man in his 30s sitting in the jump seat appeared to have opened the door when the plane was about 700 feet (213 m) off the ground and about two to three minutes before touching down in the city 150 miles (240 km) stood south of Seoul, an airline official said.
The plane landed safely, company officials told CNN.
A man was arrested in connection with the incident, local police said. He reportedly confessed to opening the door but would not say why he did it.
Police and the ministry are investigating a person for violating aviation law, South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement on Friday.
Any person violating the Aviation Security Act, which includes passengers operating doors, exits or equipment on an airplane, could be prosecuted and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, the statement said.
The ministry also said it had dispatched a flight security officer to the site to check for anomalies in aircraft maintenance.
According to Asiana Airlines, there were a total of 200 people on board, including 194 passengers.
Of those passengers, 12 people suffered minor injuries from hyperventilation and nine of them were taken to hospitals in Daegu, a spokesman for the Daegu Fire Department said.
The aircraft was identified as an Airbus 321 on the Flightradar 24 tracking website.
The jet was on a flight from Jeju Island, off the south coast of South Korea, to Daegu.
Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas of Airline Ratings described the incident as “very bizarre”.
“Technically it’s not possible to open these doors in flight,” he told CNN.
The landing speed of an A321 is about 150 knots (172 miles per hour), Thomas said, meaning winds at that speed will blow past the plane.
The door behind the plane’s wing opened into that airflow, he said.
“It seems unlikely that the door could be opened at all and then it was technically impossible to open against the wind, but somehow it happened,” said Thomas.
“The aircraft is automatically set to adjust cabin pressure based on the aircraft’s altitude,” an Asiana Airlines spokesman said.
“When the plane is high in the air, it’s impossible to open the door.
“But when the altitude is low and about to land, the door can be opened.”