An Asiana Airlines official said a man in his 30s, sitting in the emergency seat, appeared to have opened the airplane door while the plane was approximately 700 feet above the ground and a few minutes away from landing, as reported by CNN.
Despite this, the aircraft landed safely, but the man was still apprehended at the Daegu Airport on Friday. The man told the police he had been under a lot of stress due to losing his job recently and feeling suffocated, and he wanted to get off the plane quickly.
South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport issued a statement in which they mentioned that the police and the ministry were investigating an individual for violation of aviation law, which would entail a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Twelve people were reported to have suffered minor injuries due to hyperventilation, and nine had been taken to local hospitals.
The aircraft, identified as an Airbus 321 was on its journey from Jeju island, south of South Korea’s coast, to Daegu.
Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas of Airline Ratings expressed his amazement to CNN, dubbing the incident “very bizarre.” He pointed out that it would be almost impossible to open the door in-flight. That the winds at the landing speed of about 172 mph would be too strong to open against the airstream.
However, Asiana Airlines informed the outlet that the door could be opened when the aircraft was low and close to landing.