South Korean arrested for opening plane emergency exit door
A man who opened an emergency exit door during a flight in South Korea was formally arrested Sunday and faces up to 10 years in prison on a charge of violating the aviation security law, officials said.
During a preliminary questioning, the 33-year-old told investigators that he felt suffocated and tried to get off the plane quickly, according to police.
Twelve people were slightly injured on Friday after he opened the door of the Asiana Airlines Airbus A321-200, causing air to blast inside the cabin and terrifying passengers.
Normally, the emergency exit doors cannot be opened mid-flight due to the difference in air pressure inside and outside of the aircraft. But during Friday's incident, the man succeeded in opening the door likely because the plane was flying at a low altitude while preparing to land and there wasn't much difference in pressure, according to Asiana Airlines officials.
The Transport Ministry said the plane was at 700 feet (213 meters) when the man pulled the door open.
The plane was preparing to land in Daegu on an hour-long flight from the southern island of Jeju with 200 people on board. They included teenage athletes on their way to a track and field competition, according to Asiana Airlines.