South Korea flight sees man opening emergency exit in scary viral video, 9 passengers in hospital

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadMay 26, 2023 | 15:55

South Korea flight sees man opening emergency exit in scary viral video, 9 passengers in hospital

The open emergency exit door of the flight. Photo: Reuters

Your co-passengers on a flight could be annoying, too chatty, or someone who steals the armrest, or worse yet, pees on you while drunk. But can you imagine someone opening the emergency exit door mid-air without the need? 

No, we are not talking about the time BJP MP Tejasvi Surya accidentally unlatched the emergency exit while the plane was still on the ground. We are talking about an incident where the door was successfully opened while in flight, albeit it was just a few hundred metres from landing. 


The incident took place in South Korea.

This video below shows the horrifying scene playing out inside the flight, with wind whipping through the cabin, and passengers clinging to the armrest.

What happened?

  • A passenger aboard Asiana Airlines flight OZ8124 opened the emergency exit door while the plane was preparing to land. 
  • The plane was flying from Jeju Island to Daegu, South Korea. It took off from Jeju Island around 11.45 am local time and landed after an hour or so. 
  • A man in his 30s has been arrested and he has confessed to opening the emergency door when the plane was just some 250 m from the ground. However, the motives of the man remain unknown.
The man who opened the door taken to a police staton in Daegu, South Korea. Photo: Reuters
  • He was seated next to the emergency exit door and reports say he even tried to jump out, but other passengers clung to him. The man was not even drunk according to reports. 

  • The plane managed to land safely in Daegu, with no one injured and the door open. There were 200 passengers aboard the flight, including schoolchildren.
  • However, 9 passengers including 8 children were taken to a nearby hospital upon landing over breathing issues.
  • Several people seated in the row where the door was opened also reportedly fainted one by one. 
It was chaos with people close to the door appearing to faint one by one and flight attendants calling out for doctors on board through broadcasting.
- A co-passenger told Yonhap news agency
  • Fortunately, everyone was wearing a seatbelt as the flight was landing. Flight attendants weren't able to stop the perpetrator from opening the door as they were also in their seats waiting for the flight to land.

Can you open the emergency door mid-flight?

Photo: Reuters

Experts say it is next to impossible to swing open an emergency exit door when the flight is mid-air because of the pressure. Even if the lever to the door was to be pulled and the door technically opened, it wouldn't swing open. 

However, in this case, the door was swung open, perhaps because the plane was too close to the ground. Even then, CNN quoting an aviation expert said it is technically not possible. An investigation is currently underway into the incident. 

Last updated: May 26, 2023 | 15:55
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy