soul [South Korea]May 26 (ANI): A passenger opened the door of an Asiana Airlines plane just before it was to land at South Korea̵7;s Daegu International Airport on Friday, leaving over a dozen passengers breathing difficulty, but the aircraft disembarked safely. Landed, officials said, reported Yonhap news agency.
Police detained a 33-year-old man on suspicion of pulling the door lever.
According to airport officials and industry sources, the plane was on its way to Daegu, 237 kilometers southeast of Seoul, after departing Jeju Island when a door suddenly opened at 12:45 p.m. The plane soon landed with the door open.
Officials said the plane was about 250 meters above the ground when the doors opened, according to Yonhap.
Yonhap News Agency plays a central role in the South Korean press by distributing news on a real-time basis to its subscribers as well as to newspapers, broadcasters, government agencies, businesses and Internet portals.
None of the 194 people on board were ejected or injured, but 12 panicked passengers showed signs of difficulty breathing and some of them were taken to hospital. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that officials said they were not in critical condition and could be experiencing shortness of breath.
When the suspect tried to pull the lever of the exit door, flight attendants were unable to stop him as the plane was about to land.
Police said he was not intoxicated at the time of his arrest, but remained tight-lipped on why he did so.
“It is difficult to have a normal conversation with him,” said an official. “We will investigate the motive for the crime and punish him.”
Police said he was traveling alone. Witnesses said the suspect tried to open the door and jump out.
A witness said, “The flight attendant shouted for help from the male passengers and people around grabbed onto her and pulled her inside.”
Yonhap news agency reported that the passengers included 48 elementary- and middle-school athletes who were scheduled to compete in a national sports competition in the nearby city of Ulsan on Saturday.
“The children were trembling with fear and crying,” said one athlete’s mother. “The people sitting near the exit must have been most shocked.”
Another 44-year-old passenger said a door in the center left side of the plane opened with an explosion about 10 minutes before landing, Yonhap news agency reported.
The passenger said, “People standing near the door appeared to pass out one by one and flight attendants were calling doctors on board via broadcasting, while others ran down the aisle in panic.”
“I felt the plane take off. I thought I was going to die like this,” he said. (ANI)
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