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Canadian Man Opens Thai Airways Plane Door Before Takeoff

Voice of America
10 Feb 2024

BANGKOK - A Canadian tourist opened the door of a Thai Airways flight that was preparing to take off from Chiang Mai airport bound for the capital, Bangkok, local broadcaster ThaiPBS and officials said this week.

'The whole plane was in chaos,' wrote Facebook user Ananya Tiangtae, who was on the flight, adding that officials escorted the passenger off the plane.

'What if we were 30,000 feet above sea level? What would happen?' Ananya wrote.

A passenger opened the emergency door, causing the inflatable slide to activate and the aircraft was unable to take off, Chiang Mai Airport director Ronnakorn Chalermsaenyakorn said late Thursday.

The plane returned to the terminal and passengers disembarked, and technicians carried out safety inspections, he said. The disruption affected over a dozen other flights at the airport, Ronnakorn said.

After the inspection, the aircraft was cleared to depart with all passengers and crew safe, Thai Airways said.

The passenger was later seen in custody at a local police station on local TV station ThaiPBS, which identified the male tourist as Canadian.

'He admitted that he opened the door; the reason was people were coming after him. ... From his behavior, it's likely he was hallucinating,' the passenger's lawyer, Jirawat Yarnkiatpakdee, told ThaiPBS.

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