The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Terror at 800ft as passenger opens door on S Korean flight

- By Nicola Smith

ASIA CORRESPOND­ENT

PASSENGERS thought they were going to die when a man opened a plane door mid-air, causing panic as wind rushed through the cabin yesterday.

All 194 people and crew survived the incident as the Airbus A321-200 was flying at about 800ft preparing to land.

Videos circulatin­g on social media showed passsenger­s clinging to armrests, with hair and clothes flapping.

The Asiana Airlines flight was travelling from the holiday island of Jeju, to Daegu, some 148 miles south of the South Korean capital, Seoul.

One 44-year-old man spoke of the noise sounding like a detonation. “I thought the plane was blowing up. I thought I was going to die like this,” he said. “It was chaos with people close to the door appearing to faint one by one, and flight attendants calling out for doctors on board while others were running down the aisle in panic.”

Witnesses also said the man tried to jump free of the aircraft.

“Flight attendants shouted for help from male passengers and people all around clung to him and pulled him in,” according to one person.

On board was a group of young elementary and high school students. “Children quivered and cried in panic,” said the mother of one pupil.

A dozen people were taken to hospital afterwards with some fainting or having breathing difficulti­es.

A man, in his 30s, travelling alone and not showing an signs of being drunk, was arrested after the landing.

Geoffrey Thomas, an aviation expert of Airline Ratings, told CNN that the landing speed of the plane would have been about 172mph, subjecting passengers to the same strong airstream. He said it was “very bizarre” as “technicall­y, it’s not possible to open those doors in flight”.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Police officers at Daegu airport examine the door that was opened by a passenger mid-air at 800ft, left. Speeds of more than 170mph are thought to have blown through the cabin, above. A man in his 30s not thought to have been drunk was arrested, below
Police officers at Daegu airport examine the door that was opened by a passenger mid-air at 800ft, left. Speeds of more than 170mph are thought to have blown through the cabin, above. A man in his 30s not thought to have been drunk was arrested, below
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom