Terrifying moment plane door OPENS in mid-air when traveller grabs emergency exit lever


Every air passenger’s worst nightmare: Terrifying moment plane door OPENS in mid-air when traveller grabs emergency exit lever

  • The plane was heading to the city of Daegu in South Korea when door opened

In what would be anyone’s worst nightmare, a plane door opened in mid-air when a passenger grabbed the emergency exit lever.

Video shows passengers gripping on to their seats as the wind billowed into the aircraft as it descended towards the South Korean city of Daegu on Friday.

Children began shaking with fear and crying when the door of the Asiana Airlines plane opened suddenly, witnesses said.

Some 12 passengers were so terrified that they were sent to hospital with breathing difficulties once the plane landed safely at Daego airport at 12.40pm local time with the door still open.

Police have detained a male in his 30s for questioning after he opened the door when the plane was still about 650ft above the ground, Yonhap News Agency reports. It is unclear why he did so. 

A passenger recorded the incident on their phone

The door is open and the wind can be seen blowing things around inside the cabin

In what would be anyone’s worst nightmare, a plane door opened in mid-air when a passenger grabbed the emergency exit lever

The Asiana Airlines plane - with its door still open - at Daegu International Airport on Friday

The Asiana Airlines plane – with its door still open – at Daegu International Airport on Friday 

Rescue workers move a passenger into an ambulance at Daegu International Airport

Rescue workers move a passenger into an ambulance at Daegu International Airport 

Some people on board tried to stop the man from opening the door but were unsuccessful, the Transport Ministry said. 

‘Police are questioning him jointly with the land and transport ministry over aviation safety laws violations,’ the ministry said. 

‘Under these laws, a person who opens a plane door without authorisation is subject to a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.’

The plane, carrying 194 people including 48 teenage athletes who were set to compete in a national sports event in the city of Ulsan, had departed from the island of Jeju when the door opened.

Video shows wind ripping through the open door, with fabric seat-backs and passengers’ hair flapping wildly as some people shouted in shock. 

Another video shows two male passengers, wearing their seatbelts, wincing as the wind ripped around them while they gripped onto the armrests of their seats. 

A 44-year-old passenger told Yonhap that it was ‘chaos’ on the flight after the door was opened.

‘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 while others were running down the aisle in panic,’ the passenger said.

‘I thought the plane was blowing up. I thought I was going to die like this.’

‘Children quivered and cried in panic,’ the mother of one of the athletes said. ‘Those sitting near the exit must have been shocked the most.’

Police have detained a male passenger in his 30s for questioning after he opened the door when the plane was still about 650ft above the ground

Police have detained a male passenger in his 30s for questioning after he opened the door when the plane was still about 650ft above the ground

Children quivered and cried in panic,' the mother of one of the athletes said. 'Those sitting near the exit must have been shocked the most'

Children quivered and cried in panic,’ the mother of one of the athletes said. ‘Those sitting near the exit must have been shocked the most’ 

Rescue workers move students on stretchers at Daegu International Airport

Rescue workers move students on stretchers at Daegu International Airport

A transport ministry official on the aviation safety team said that this was ‘the first such incident’ they were aware of in Korean aviation history.

South Korea’s aviation industry has a solid track record for safety, experts say.

Asiana, which was established in 1988 as a rival to flag carrier Korean Air, was involved in a major crash in San Francisco in July 2013.

At that time, Asiana Flight 214 from Seoul clipped a sea wall with its landing gear, then crashed and burst into flames, killing three people and leaving 182 injured.

And while it is rare for a plane door to open while the aircraft is mid-air, it has happened before.

In January, a Russian An-26 plane’s rear door sprang open shortly after take-off in the world’s coldest region

The pilot made a rapid emergency landing at Magan in the Siberian region of Yakutsk, and all on board were ‘safe’ despite the intense cold in the cabin.





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