A passenger on an Asiana Airlines flight told police he opened a door on the plane minutes before it landed in Daegu, South Korea, on Friday because he was “uncomfortable”, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The man, in his thirties, told police that he opened the door because he “wanted to get off the plane quickly,” Yonhap said, citing the Daegu Dongbu Police Station. He also told police he was stressed after losing his job recently.
Reuters could not immediately reach police at the station.
The man opened the door when the plane was about 700 feet (213m) above the ground, causing panic onboard.
Nine passengers were sent to the hospital with breathing issues. All were dismissed from the hospital after about two hours, a fire department official said.
Police plan to arrest the detained man after investigations conclude, Yonhap said.
Jin Seong-hyun, a former Korean Air cabin safety official, said that as far has he knew, this case was unprecedented, but that passengers have opened emergency exits without authorization while the plane is on the ground.
A South Korean transport ministry official said yesterday that it was possible to open emergency exits at or near ground level because the pressures inside and outside the cabin were similar.