A Chinese man reportedly pulled the escape exit of an aircraft while waiting to disembark because he was feeling “stuffy” and “hot.”
The 25-year-old man, who was identified only as Chen, was on a Lucky Air flight from Sanya city, Hainan to Mianyang, Sichuan. As the flight touched down and was on tarmac, the man reportedly felt “stuffy” and in search of “fresh air” he pulled a handle which was attached to the emergency exit.
The action by Chen activated the emergency slide.
In his defense, the man said he was unaware that the handle was attached to the emergency exit.
“Because it was so stuffy, so hot on the plane, I just pushed down on the window handle beside me. When the door fell out, I panicked,” he said.
As soon as the door fell out, cabin crew alerted police, who immediately removed Chen from the airplane and later detained him for 15 days. He also had to pay $11,000 to cover the damage done to the emergency slide in the process.
The airline said all passengers are given instructions before a flight takes off and special announcement is also made in reference to the emergency exit door. In fact, passengers sitting next to the door are separately informed by flight attendants about the physical force needed to open the door in case of an emergency.
Lucky Air further said an investigation, involving public security agencies, will be carried out to investigate the matter.
“Before each takeoff, flight attendants inform passengers about safety precautions,” said the airline.
However, this is not the first time a passenger has opened an aircraft’s emergency door.
In August 2017, a teenager traveling in a Copa Airlines flight from Panama City to San jumped out of his seat, opened the plane’s emergency door and slid down on to the wing before jumping to the tarmac. The dramatic incident unfolded minutes after the plane touched down at the San Francisco International airport.
The 17-year-old created panic and stunned passengers on board as he threw himself down the door of the airplane.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Carlos Lemos