Business & Economy

Arrest warrant issued against man who opened plane door mid-air in South Korea

Seoul, May 28 (EFE).- The district court in Daegu issued an arrest warrant Sunday against a South Korean man for opening the emergency door of a plane when the aircraft had not yet landed, sparking panic among other passengers.

The court considered the 33-year-old Lee’s action to have been a serious offense and in violation of South Korea’s aviation security law, and posed a risk of flight.

Lee opened the emergency door minutes before Asiana Flight OZ8124 landed in Daegu, about 240 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Friday.

Violating the aviation security law can carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison in South Korea.

The flight, which was coming from Jeju Island, had taken off at 11.49 local time and the door opened suddenly at 12.45 around five minutes before the scheduled time of landing, according to Yonhap agency.

The passenger, who was taken into custody immediately upon landing, opened the emergency exit when the cabin crew were seated and prepared for landing as the plane was a little over 200 meters above the ground.

This caused panic among the occupants of the plane, as seen in videos taken by some passengers and shared on social networks.

The man initially refused to speak during interrogation, but finally told the authorities that he was very stressed after recently losing his job and that he suddenly felt suffocated inside the aircraft.

Once the preliminary interrogation is concluded, the police are expected to seek an arrest warrant against the man for violating the aviation security law, which can lead to penalties of up to 10 years in prison in South Korea.

None of the 194 passengers aboard the plane were injured during the landing but some dozen experienced hyperventilation and nine had to be hospitalized without severe prognosis. EFE


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