Seoul, Korea.- A passenger who opened the emergency door of a plane in mid-flight in South Korea told police he felt stifled and wanted to get out of the aircraft as soon as possible while it was preparing to land, various reports reported Saturday.
twelve people suffered minor injuries after the man opened the door of an Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 on Friday, causing high-speed air to enter the cabin. The aircraft, which was flying to Daegu City from Jeju Island, landed safely.
Daegu Police stopped the man for an alleged violation of aviation security laws. If found guilty, he could spend up to 10 years in prison.
The 33-year-old man told police he wanted to get off the plane because he felt suffocated, according to police sources in statements to the news agency Yonhap.
Yonhap said the man told police officers he was suffering stress after recently losing his job.
Other South Korean media outlets carried similar stories about the man’s motive, noting that the Daegu police requested a warrant for the suspect’s formal arrest.
Daegu police did not respond to calls seeking comment Sunday morning. Upon being previously contacted by Associated PressDaegu policemen they refused to give details about the man, citing privacy concerns.
The aircraft was carrying 194 people, including youth athletes on their way to a track meet. The man opened the door as the aircraft was about to arrive at the Daegu airport at an altitude of 213 meters (700 feet).
Most of the people who were taken to hospitals received care for minor problems such as breathing difficulties.
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