A passenger opens an emergency exit before the plane lands

A passenger of a Asiana Airlines plane opened an emergency exit on Friday in the middle of the landing phase, the South Korean company told AFP, adding that the aircraft landed without incident but that passengers were hospitalized.

The incident occurred when the Airbus A321-200, on board nearly 200 passengers, was approaching the runway from Daegu International Airport, located about 240 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The aircraft was still about 200 meters from the ground when a passenger seated near the emergency exit “opened the door manually by operating the lever”, the representative of the South Korean company told AFP.

The unexpected opening of this door caused breathing difficulties in some passengers, who were taken to hospital after landing, said Asiana Airlines, adding that no serious injuries or major damage are to be deplored.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported nine people hospitalized. “The passenger was taken (to the police station) to be questioned about why he opened the door,” said the same source.

In a short video of the incident released by Yonhap, the wind can be seen rushing through the open door in mid-flight, the fabric headrests and passengers’ hair flying in all directions, while some push cries.

Another video shared on social media shows passengers sitting in the row of the emergency exit, next to the open door, buffeted by strong winds.

Two of them, who are wearing their seatbelts, wince as the wind picks up as they cling to the armrests and try to turn away from the door.

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