The incident occurred just before the plane landed.
Nine people have been taken to hospital following an alarming incident onboard an Asiana Airlines Airbus A321. Just before the aircraft arrived in Daegu this lunchtime, a passenger opened one of the plane’s doors, causing breathing difficulties to a number of those onboard. The passenger in question has been arrested.
An alarming end to a normal flight
According to the Aviation Herald, the service involved was Asiana flight OZ8124, a regularly scheduled domestic service from Jeju International (CJU) to Daegu International Airport (TAE). South Korea is home to some of the world’s busiest internal air routes, and this particular flight operates daily using Airbus A321s.
According to the BBC, today’s flight had 194 passengers onboard, representing an almost full service compared to the 195-seat capacity that ch-aviation.com lists the 11-year-old narrowbody twinjet as having. Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that it left Jeju at 11:58, and touched down just 41 minutes later at 12:39 local time. However, by this point, an alarming event had taken place onboard.
Specifically, just before touchdown, a male passenger (said to be in his 30s) opened one of the Airbus A321s emergency exits. The door in question was situated on the left-hand side of the plane, just behind its wings, and this act caused strong winds to enter the cabin. Thankfully, due to the late stage of the flight, all of the passengers onboard had their seatbelts on at the time of the incident.
Arrested upon arrival
As a result of this, The Guardian notes that there were no injuries caused by the opening, which happened at an altitude of 200 meters (656 feet). However, nine passengers were sent to hospital upon arrival after suffering from breathing difficulties. This figure is said to have included eight schoolchildren on their way to a sporting event. According to Reuters, an Asiana spokesperson stated that:
“Police are investigating the incident after a passenger who was sitting near the emergency exit said he touched its lever.”
As part of their investigations into the incident, South Korean police officers arrested the man who was responsible for the door’s opening upon its arrival in Daegu. With the exact chain of events that led to his actions still unclear, it will certainly be interesting to see what comes of the planned investigation.
The aircraft remains on the ground
The aircraft involved in this incident, registered as HL8256, is a busy domestic workhorse for Asiana, averaging (per ch-aviation) 2,910 hours a year across 1,726 cycles. It rarely spends much time o the ground between flights, although its last one ended under rather abnormal circumstances. As such, FlightRadar24 shows that it has remained on the ground since landing in Daegu this lunchtime.
What do you make of this alarming incident? Have you ever come across a similar scenario? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Sources: Aviation Herald, BBC, ch-aviation.com, FlightRadar24.com, Reuters, The Guardian
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Incheon International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Han Chang-soo
- South Korea