A passenger managed to open the emergency exit door of Asiana flight 8124 on Friday as the 205-mile overwater domestic flight from Jeju to Daegu, South Korea was landing and the aircraft was about 820 feet above the ground.
There were 194 passengers on board the Airbus A321. Six were hospitalized on arrival. The man, in his 30s, reported tried to jump out of the aircraft.
“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,” one 44-year-old passenger told Yonhap.
“I thought the plane was blowing up. I thought I was going to die like this,” he added.
The mother of one of the students told Yonhap: “The children were shaking, crying, and frightened.”
Door of Asiana Airlines plane opens in mid-air just before landing in South Korea; 9 people taken to hospital with breathing difficulties pic.twitter.com/rUI6LTRihj
— BNO News (@BNONews) May 26, 2023
Police detained a 33-year-old man on suspicions of pulling the door lever on a Asiana A-321 from Jeju – Daegu 👀
— Thenewarea51 (@thenewarea51) May 26, 2023
About a minute before landing, the left aft-wing emergency door L3 on Asiana flight #OZ8124 was opened. The inflatable chute – housed below the door – deployed and was ripped off in the airstream. https://t.co/0q4mwO9GYv
A321 L3 door operation: https://t.co/LRhQL4In7d pic.twitter.com/WsAfvPVGGV
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) May 26, 2023
The perpetrator, who had been sitting in the exit row, was arrested on arrival. He hasn’t explained his motives. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this successfully done on a mainline aircraft while it was still inflight. At the low altitude, cabin pressurization would no longer stop this – but the speed of the plane alone would seem to make it difficult.