Police detained a 33-year-old man suspected of opening the door, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. Police said the man confessed to opening the door, but did not say why he did it.
South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation said in a statement that anyone who violates the Aviation Safety Law, actions that include passengers operating doors, exits or equipment inside an aircraft, could be prosecuted and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
“I thought the plane was going to explode. … It seemed that the passengers by the open door were fainting,” a passenger told Yonhap.
In a video that appeared to have been captured by a passenger and shared widely on social media and distributed by Reuters, wind whips through the plane’s cabin, buffeting passengers and billowing unsecured fabric.
Flight attendants tried to stop the man but were unable to, Yonhap reported. “The flight attendants yelled for the male passengers for help and the people around them grabbed him and pulled him,” a witness told the news agency.
The plane was carrying 200 people, including 194 passengers, South Korean media reported.
The airline’s office at Daegu International could not immediately be reached for comment.