The police arrest a man in his 30s at Daegu International Airport, 237 kilometers southeast of Seoul, South Korea, 26 May 2023. EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

Man who opened plane door in South Korea said he wanted to get off quickly

Seoul, May 27 (EFE).- The man who opened the emergency door of a South Korean commercial plane before landing has told the police that he did so because he felt suffocated and wanted to get off quickly, according to media reports on Saturday.

The man, who is in his thirties and whose identity has not been revealed, opened the emergency door on Friday minutes before Asiana Flight OZ8124 landed in Daegu, about 240 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The flight, which was coming from Jeju Island, had taken off at 11.49 local time and the door opened suddenly at 12.45 around five minutes before the scheduled time of landing, according to Yonhap agency.

The passenger, who remains in police custody, opened the emergency exit when the cabin crew were seated and prepared for landing as the plane was a little over 200 meters above the ground.

This caused panic among the occupants of the plane, as seen in videos taken by some passengers and shared on social networks.

The man initially refused to speak during interrogation, but finally told the authorities that he was very stressed after recently losing his job and that he suddenly felt suffocated inside the aircraft.

Once the preliminary interrogation is concluded, the police are expected to seek an arrest warrant against the man for violating the aviation security law, which can lead to penalties of up to 10 years in prison in South Korea.

None of the 194 passengers aboard the plane were injured during the landing but some dozen experienced hyperventilation and nine had to be hospitalized without severe prognosis. EFE