(USNewsBreak.com) – Commercial airplanes include emergency exit doors in the event that evacuation becomes necessary. Aircraft personnel instruct passengers who sit near or in a row with one on how to open them if a situation warrants. However, a Canadian man experiencing a panic attack recently tried to engage the door while the plane was trying to take off in Thailand.
According to Nation Thailand, on Wednesday, February 7, 40-year-old Wong Sai Heung, who was visiting the country, ran to an emergency exit at the front of the Thai Airways plane, screaming that someone was about to attack him. He tried to pry open the door to escape and asked a flight attendant for help. When they refused, he moved to another exit. The aircraft, which had a planned travel route from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, was lining up for takeoff when the incident occurred, but the pilots had to abort the takeoff.
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Flight personnel eventually restrained Heung and turned him over to authorities, who initially charged him with acting in a manner that would imperil an aircraft. He could also face more charges after police talk with airport officials. The Canadian consulate made a representative available to the suspect during questioning. Heung cooperated with authorities, identifying himself as a computer engineer and noting that he suffered from panic attacks. He told police an underground organization was stalking him, and he feared for his life.
The incident resulted in several delays. While the airport directed some departures to another runway, flight controllers had to delay landings. The aircraft Heung was traveling on returned to its gate, delaying its departure by several hours while authorities and airline officials addressed the situation.
This incident wasn’t the only time a passenger has tried to open an emergency exit door. In late January, a passenger on an Air Canada flight experienced a “state of crisis” that led to him trying to open a door. Aircraft personnel restrained him, and police met him at the arrival airport.
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