Police arrested a 33-year-old man suspected of throwing open the door, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported. Police said the man confessed to opening the door, but would not say why.
South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement that any person violating the Aviation Security Act – actions involving passengers operating doors, exits or equipment on an aircraft – could be prosecuted and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
“I thought the plane was going to explode. … It looked like passengers passed out next to the open door,” a passenger told Yonhap.
In a video that appeared to be taken by a passenger and was widely shared on social media and circulated by Reuters, the wind whips through the plane’s cabin, pounding passengers and flapping unsecured fabric.
Flight attendants tried to stop the man but were unsuccessful, Yonhap reported. “The flight attendants were screaming for help from male passengers and people around them clung to him and pulled him inside,” a witness told the news agency.
The plane was carrying 200 people, including 194 passengers, South Korean media reported.
The airline’s office at Daegu International was not immediately available for comment.