Man opened Asiana plane door in mid-air because he was 'uncomfortable'

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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, was detained on landing. He told police that he opened the door because he "wanted to get off the plane quickly," Yonhap said on Saturday, 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 (213 metres) above the ground, causing panic onboard.

Nine passengers were taken to hospital with breathing issues. A fire department official said they were all discharged after about two hours.

Police sought an arrest warrant for the detained man on Saturday for violation of the Aviation Security Act and other offences, Yonhap said. Officials gave the man's surname as Lee but not his full name, as is custom.

A video aired on television, reported to have been taken by a passenger, showed the moments before the landing, with a door open and wind rushing in as passengers sat nearby.

Jin Seong-Hyun, a former Korean Air cabin safety official, said that as far as he knew, the incident was unprecedented, but that passengers had opened emergency exits without authorisation while planes were on the ground.

A South Korean Transport Ministry official said on Friday that opening emergency exits at or near ground level was possible because the pressure inside and outside the cabin is similar.

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