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Arrest warrant issued for man who opened plane door mid-air

May 28, 2023 - 21:25 By Yonhap

This sign shows Asiana Airlines Inc.'s Flight Irregularity Claim Center at Daegu International Airport in Daegu, 237 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Sunday. (Yonhap)

DAEGU-- A local court issued a warrant Sunday to arrest a passenger who opened an emergency exit door on board an Asiana Airlines flight right before landing in the southeastern city of Daegu last week.

The 33-year-old man, only identified by his surname Lee, was detained by police Friday on suspicions of opening the door 213 meters above ground just minutes before landing at Daegu International Airport in Daegu, 237 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The Daegu District Court granted the request for an arrest warrant for alleged violation of the aviation security law, citing the seriousness of his case and the risk of flight.

Arriving at the court for questioning earlier in the day, the suspect said he was "very sorry to the kids" that were on the plane when asked by reporters whether he was aware of the danger of opening the door.

The man earlier told police officials that he had been under a lot of stress after losing his job recently and wanted to get out of the plane as he felt suffocated.

Under the aviation security law, a passenger who manipulates the doors, emergency exits or devices of an airplane hindering the security of the flight could face a prison term of up to 10 years.

None of the 194 people aboard, including a group of teenage athletes on their way to a competition, were injured in Friday's incident. Some nine panicked passengers were taken to hospitals after showing symptoms of breathing difficulty. (Yonhap)