Seoul, South Korea
The door of an Asiana Airlines plane opened as it landed in Daegu, South Korea, on Friday afternoon, sending winds whipping through the plane’s cabin as terrified passengers clutched their armrests, video of the incident shows.
An airline official said a man in his 30s who was in the emergency seat appeared to have opened the door when the plane was about 213 meters above the ground and about two to three minutes after landing in the city, 240 kilometers away. 240 kilometers) south of Seoul.
However, company officials told CNN the plane landed safely.
Local police say a man has been arrested. They said he confessed to opening the door but wouldn’t say why.
South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement that police and the ministry are investigating a person for violation of the aviation law.
According to Asiana Airlines, a total of 200 people were on board, including 194 passengers.
According to the Daegu Fire Department, 12 people suffered minor injuries from hyperventilation and nine of them were sent to hospitals in Daegu.
The aircraft was identified on the Flightradar 24 tracking website as an Airbus 321.
The plane was on a flight from Jeju Island, off the southern coast of South Korea, to Daegu.
Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas of Airline Ratings described the incident as “very bizarre”.
“It’s not technically possible to open those doors in flight,” he told CNN.
Thomas noted that the landing speed of an A321 is about 150 knots (172 mph), meaning that winds at that speed pass the aircraft. The door, behind the plane’s wing, opened onto that stream of air, he said.
“It seems unlikely that the door could be opened in the first place and then against the airflow is technically impossible, but somehow it happened,” said Thomas.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said it sent an aviation safety supervisor to the site to check for an anomaly in aircraft maintenance.
This is an evolving story