Court to question man who opened plane door mid-air

A local court plans to question a passenger who opened an emergency exit door on board an Asiana Airlines flight right before landing earlier this week, police officials said Sunday.

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 man 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.

The Daegu District Court will question the suspect at 2:30 p.m. Sunday to determine whether to grant prosecutors’ request for an arrest warrant to be issued for him, according to the police.

The police earlier sought an arrest warrant for Lee for an alleged violation of the aviation security law, citing the seriousness of his case and the risk of flight.

Under the act, 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. A few panicked passengers were taken to hospitals after showing symptoms of breathing difficulty.

Source: Yonhap News Agency