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Jeju, South Korea flight: Scary moments as flight door opens mid-air on Asiana Airlines plane


Seoul, South Korea

The door of an Asiana Airlines jet flew open as it was coming in to land in Daegu, South Korea, on Friday afternoon, leaving the wind whipping through the plane’s cabin as terrified passengers clutched their armrests, video of the incident shows.

An airline official said a man in his 30s sitting at the emergency seat appeared to have opened the door when the plane was about 700 feet (213 meters) above the ground and about two to three minutes from landing in the city of 150 miles (150 miles) 240 kilometers) south of Seoul.

But company officials told CNN the plane had landed safely.

The local police state that a man has been arrested.

A total of 200 people were on board, including 194 passengers, according to Asiana Airlines.

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

An Asiana Airlines Airbus A321-200 is seen at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam in this file photo. A similar type of aircraft is believed to have been involved in the latest incident.

According to the Daegu Fire Department, 12 people suffered minor injuries from hyperventilation, and nine of them have been sent to hospitals in Daegu.

The aircraft was identified on the Flightradar 24 tracking website as an Airbus 321.

The jet was on a flight from Jeju Island off South Korea’s southern coast to Daegu.

Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas of Airline Ratings described the incident as “very bizarre.”

“Technically, it is not possible to open these doors in flight,” he told CNN.

Thomas noted that the landing speed of an A321 is about 150 knots (172 mph), which means that winds at that speed pass the plane. The door behind the plane’s wing opened into that airflow, he said.

“It seems improbable that the door could be opened in the first place and then against the air flow, technically impossible, but somehow it happened, Thomas said.

This is a breaking story and will be updated

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