Passenger who opened jet’s emergency exit moments before takeoff just ‘needed some fresh air’

On a China Southern flight in southwest China, a passenger stunned his fellow travelers and the flight crew when he opened the emergency exit moments before the flight took off.

While the plane was waiting to take off at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in China’s Sichuan province, a man in the back of the plane felt that the aircraft was a bit stuffy. To cool himself down, he opened the emergency exit moments before the plane took off. Unfortunately for the man, opening an emergency exit isn’t like cracking a window — it’s kind of a big deal..

After opening the emergency exit, the plane was delayed from taking off for nearly an hour. Emergency exits have to be closed from the outside of the plane, and then inspected by a flight crew. The 130 passengers on board had to wait in the plane while the exits were re-sealed.

An airport security staffer resecures the plane’s emergency exit (People’s Daily Online)

The passenger who opened the exit was promptly escorted off the plane by police. Hopefully he got to experience some fresh air before going back to the airport for a likely interrogation.

Under China’s aviation laws, any passenger who causes “deliberate destruction” on a flight that poses a safety risk to anyone else on the plane can be held criminally liable. There is no word what charges the passenger will face.

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