In a bizarre incident, a 25-year-old Chinese man was detained after he accidentally opened the emergency exit of his flight as he was feeling 'stuffy' and wanted to get some fresh air. He is set to be fined at least 70,000 yuan (11,000 US dollars).
The incident took place on the intervening night of April 28 and April 29, when Chen tried to disembark from the plane at the Mianyang airport in the southwestern province of Sichuan, China. The passenger had just arrived from the island of Hainan. The name of the airline was not mentioned in Cover News, a local Chinese media outlet.
Chen claimed his innocence and said that he was unaware that his actions would open the emergency door. "Because it was so stuffy, so hot on the plane, I just pushed down on the window handle beside me. When the door fell out, I panicked," Chen was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India, Beijing. Soon after he pulled the handle, it activated the escape slide.
Following this, the cabin crew alerted the police and he has been reportedly detained for 15 days.
The airline claimed it would co-operate with the authorities for further investigation procedures. "Before each take-off, flight attendants inform passengers about safety precautions, " PTI Beijing stated the airline as saying.
This is not the first time that a Chinese flight passenger has accidentally opened an emergency exit. In April 2016, a 30-year-old passenger at Shenzhen airport in South China was detained after he ignored the cabin crew's safety precautions and opened the emergency door. The passenger, who is a bulldozer driver by profession, was travelling on a flight for the first time.
He claimed that he accidentally opened the emergency door as he was getting airsick and wanted some fresh air. The flight passenger was detained by the local police and was fined 500 yuan. The flight was delayed by over an hour.
Last month, a passenger had died after a Southwest Airlines flight suffered a serious engine blowout en route to Dallas from New York's La Guardia airport. The Boeing 737-700 was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia following the major engine failure. Seven passengers were reportedly injured in the accident.
On March 4, a Nigerian woman - Queen Obioma - was also allegedly kicked off a flight at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport after a passenger complained that she had a "pungent" odour. Last week, Obioma filed a federal discrimination suit against United Airlines in Texas claiming that she and her children were kicked off a flight headed to San Francisco and that it was racial discrimination.