Man who opened emergency door of flight in South Korea tells police he felt suffocated

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A passenger who opened an emergency exit door on a flight in South Korea told police he felt choked and tried to quickly get off the plane. aircraft approaching landing, news reported Saturday.

Twelve people were slightly injured when the man opened the door of the Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 on Friday, causing an air burst inside the cabin. The plane, which was flying to Daegu city from the southern island of Jeju, landed safely.

The man was arrested by Daegu police for allegedly violating the Aviation Safety Law. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

The 33-year-old told police he wanted to get off the plane because he felt suffocated, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing police.

Yonhap said the man told police he suffered from stress after recently losing his job.

Other South Korean outlets ran similar stories about the man’s motive. Reports say Daegu police have applied for a warrant to officially arrest him.

Calls to Daegu police went unanswered on Sunday morning. Reached by The Associated Press earlier, Daegu police declined to provide details about the man, citing privacy concerns.

The plane was carrying 194 people, including teenage athletes, on their way to an athletics competition. The man opened the door as the plane reached Daegu airport at an altitude of 700 feet (213 meters).

People transported to hospitals were mainly treated for minor problems such as breathing difficulties.

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