Chinese man opens airplane emergency exit due to stuffy air

Desperate to get some fresh air, a Chinese man pulled the escape handle to abandon the “stuffy, hot” plane. He was later detained by police and has now to pay around $11,000.

Chen, a Chinese man traveling from the island of Hainan, said he felt it was quite stuffy inside the plane and decided he could do with some fresh air. As the plane was about to take off at Mianyang Airport in the south-western province of Sichuan, he nonchalantly stretched out his arm and pulled the escape handle.

However, he didnt get a chance to enjoy the fresh air that burst into the cabin, as the hatch fell off and the escape slide was activated for emergency landing. Chen, 25, said he had no idea that it was the emergency exit.

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“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,” he said.

The crew said they had provided all the necessary safety explanations beforehand. They noted, too, that pulling the emergency escape handle requires considerable physical strength.

“Before each take off, flight attendants inform passengers about safety precautions,” the airline stated.

The crew immediately informed the police about the incident and the unlucky Chen was detained for 15 days for unauthorized removal of aviation facilities. He also has to pay a fine of 70,000 yuan ($11,000) to cover the damage. The airline promised to launch an investigation, which will involve public security agencies.

This is not the only recent case of plane misconduct on Chinese airlines. Last month, a man traveling with Air China caused an unscheduled landing after he threatened the crew with a fountain pen.

In April 2016, a bulldozer driver with no flight experience willfully ignored the warnings and opened the emergency exit door to get some fresh air to avoid sickness. “I thought the handle was used to open the window so it would be fine,” he explained.

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