A shocking video shows an opened plane door and terrified passengers gripping their seats as an Asiana Air airplane prepared to land in South Korea.
According to CNN, a man described only as being 33 was sitting in the emergency seat when he reportedly somehow opened the plane door on Friday.
RELATED: Man, 33, Arrested After Attempting To Open Airplane Door Mid-Flight & Striking Flight Attendant 3x (Video)
Police Arrest Man After He Reportedly Opened Airplane Door Before Landing In South Korea
A total of 200 people were on board the flight, including 194 passengers, Asiana Airlines reports. Meanwhile, 12 people suffered minor injuries from hyperventilation. Nine of them were sent to hospitals in Daegu, South Korea.
Passenger opens airplane exit door during flight in South Korea; 12 people injured slightly: https://t.co/E2akABTTtL pic.twitter.com/UeQGuguMsA
— WAFB (@WAFB) May 26, 2023
Police arrested the man in question upon landing, per local police. The unidentified suspect ultimately confessed to opening the door. However, he did not give a motive for why.
Han Jae Min, a spokesperson for the airline, shared a statement with NBC News.
“The male passenger who sat next to the emergency exit door that opened said that he was tinkering with the handle and that he opened the door. He is currently being questioned by the police and we understand that he told the police that he opened the door.”
At the time of the incident, the plane was roughly 700 feet above the ground. Additionally, the flight was two to three minutes from landing in Seoul.
9 passengers sent to the hospital after a man opened the airplane’s door mid flight in s korea#nopepic.twitter.com/JikpW4nzUQ
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 26, 2023
Aviation Experts Baffled At How The Man Could Have Opened Airplane Door Mid-Flight
Aviation experts are baffled about how the man could have opened the door mid-flight. Geoffrey Thomas of Airline Ratings described the incident as “very bizarre,” as per CNN.
“Technically, it’s not possible to open those doors in flight. It seems implausible that the door could be opened in the first place and then against the airstream technically impossible, but somehow or another it has happened.”
No abnormalities were found on the aircraft following a maintenance check-up by a safety supervisor.
Asiana Airlines Explains Phenoma, Video Shows Shocking Aftermath
However, Asiana Airlines explained to CNN that the door could be opened when the altitude is low and close to landing, as was in Friday’s case.
“The airplane is automatically set to adjust the pressure of the cabin according to the altitude of the aircraft. When the aircraft is high up in the air, it is impossible to open the door but when the altitude is low and close to landing, the door can be opened.”
Video shows winds whipping through the plane’s cabin as passengers hugged their armrests. However, company officials confirmed to CNN that the plane ultimately landed safely.
SCARY SITUATION: A passenger opened the airplane exit door during a flight in South Korea. 12 people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries and ear pain. STORY: https://t.co/aS75FRT4gT pic.twitter.com/KzyI0R3jf1
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) May 26, 2023
Man In Question Faces Up To 10 Years In Prison
In a statement on Friday, South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport confirmed that police and the ministry were investigating an individual regarding a violation of aviation law.
Violating the Aviation Security Act is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to CNN.