Man faces jail for open­ing jet door


The Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity of Thai­land (CAAT) has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter a for­eigner ripped open an emer­gency exit on a Thai Smile jet­liner as it was pre­par­ing for take-off from Chi­ang Mai air­port.

The man, whose iden­tity was not re­vealed, has been in po­lice cus­tody since Wed­nes­day, when the bizarre in­ci­dent took place.

The event oc­curred as flight WE169 was pre­par­ing for take-off on a 3.40pm flight to Bangkok.

Af­ter pas­sen­gers took their seats, a man jumped up and opened the emer­gency exit over the left wing, caus­ing the in­flat­able slide to de­ploy, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

The cap­tain promptly aborted the take-off as the man was dragged from the plane by se­cu­rity of­fi­cials, re­sult­ing in a one-hour de­lay for the 86 pas­sen­gers on board.

A CAAT source said the reg­u­la­tor is con­duct­ing a thor­ough back­ground check to find out whether the man had any “in­ten­tion to cause harm”.

The sus­pect faces up to five years in prison if he is found guilty of act­ing with ma­li­cious in­tent, the source said.

His mo­tive for the ac­tion re­mains un­clear, the source added.

Thai Smile has lodged a po­lice com­plaint over the in­ci­dent.

An ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion found the man may have vi­o­lated two laws — the Air Nav­i­ga­tion Act, and Sec­tion 232 of the Crim­i­nal Code, ac­cord­ing to deputy po­lice spokesman Krit­sana Pat­tanacharoe­n.

The lat­ter pro­hibits a per­son from act­ing in a way that may cause harm to other peo­ple in ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing air­craft.

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