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Passenger who sat next to man accused of opening emergency door says he managed to restrain the man


The passenger who sat next to the man on a South Korean flight who slammed open the emergency exit said he was terrified and thought he was going to die when the wind rushed into the cabin and breathing became more difficult.

Lee Yoon-Joon described to Yonhap News that he physically restrained the passenger who allegedly opened the exit with his bare hands.

He said he asked himself ‘am I going to die?’

Lee can be seen in the widely circulated video of the door opening and the wind blowing in at high speed. He wears red pants and is clearly in distress as the air blows past his face.

The wind was so intense that Lee said it was like being in a disaster movie.

Prior to the terrifying incident, Lee says he was made to feel uncomfortable by the passenger sitting next to him, who made prolonged, disturbing eye contact during the flight.

The flight was about 700 feet above the ground when the emergency exit was pulled.

Captain Sully Sullenberger, who famously landed a plane in the Hudson River after losing power to both engines, told ABC that based on estimates of how fast the plane was going, passengers on board experienced winds equivalent to those of a Category 5 hurricane.

He noted that at higher altitudes the air pressure in the cabin would have made it difficult to open the cabin door – and at very high altitudes it would have been impossible.

In response to the incident, Asiana Airlines barred passengers from booking exit seats.

A chilling video shows passengers clutching their seats as the wind whipped into the plane as it descended into the South Korean city of Daegu on Friday.

Children began to shake with fear and cry when the door of the Asiana Airlines plane suddenly opened, witnesses said.

About 12 passengers were so frightened they were sent to hospital with difficulty breathing when the plane landed safely at Daego airport at 12:40 am local time with the door still open.

A 33-year-old man told police he felt “suffocated” after being arrested. He now faces 10 years in prison for opening the plane’s door when the plane was still 200 meters above the ground. His name has not yet been released.

Some people on board tried to stop the man, who later told police he was stressed because he had recently lost his job, from opening the door, but were unable to do so, the transport ministry said.

“Police are interrogating him along with the Ministry of Lands and Transport about violations of aviation safety laws,” the ministry said.

“Under these laws, anyone who opens an airplane door without permission carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.”

Police have detained a male passenger in his 30s for questioning after he opened the door when the plane was still about 200 meters above the ground

Rescue workers move students on stretchers at Daegu International Airport

Rescue workers move students on stretchers at Daegu International Airport

Rescuers transfer a passenger to an ambulance at Daegu International Airport

Rescuers transfer a passenger to an ambulance at Daegu International Airport

The plane, carrying 194 people, including 48 teenage athletes who were to compete in a national sporting event in the city of Ulsan, had taken off from Jeju Island when the door opened.

Video shows the wind blowing through the open door, fabric backs and passengers’ hair flying wildly as some people screamed in shock.

Another video shows two male passengers with their seatbelts on, flinching as the wind blows around them as they grab onto the armrests of their seats.

A 44-year-old passenger told Yonhap it was “chaos” on the flight after the door was opened.

“It was chaos with people close to the door seeming to pass out one by one and flight attendants radioing for doctors to board while others ran down the aisle in panic,” the passenger said.

“I thought the plane exploded. I thought I’d die like this.’

“Children were shaking and crying in panic,” said the mother of one of the athletes. “Those sitting at the exit must have been the most shocked.”

A Transport Ministry official on the aviation safety team said this was “the first incident in Korean aviation history that they were aware of.”

The South Korean aviation industry has a solid safety record, experts say.

Founded in 1988 as a rival to national carrier Korean Air, Asiana was involved in a major crash in San Francisco in July 2013.

At that time, Asiana Flight 214 from Seoul hit a seawall with its landing gear, then crashed and burst into flames, killing three people and injuring 182.

And while it’s rare for an airplane door to open while the plane is in the air, it’s happened before.

In January, the rear door of a Russian An-26 plane burst open shortly after takeoff in the world’s coldest region.

The pilot made a quick emergency landing at Magan in the Siberian region of Yakutsk and everyone on board was ‘safe’ despite the intense cold in the cabin.

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