Thai Man Attempts to Open Airplane's Emergency Door In-Flight

File photo of a Lion Air aircraft at Hat Yai airport in Songkhla province, 20 August 2014.

SONGKHLA — A man from Phattalung province has been arrested for allegedly trying to open an emergency door of an aircraft while it was flying 10,000 feet over southern Thailand yesterday.

Police said the incident took place on Lion Air's flight SL8542, which was flying from Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport to Hat Yai Airport in Songkhla province on 25 June.

Three off-duty police officers on the plane reportedly tackled the man, who has been identified as a 30-year-old engineer named Amnat, after they saw him attempt to open the emergency exit door. Police said 160 people were on board the plane at the time.

Lion Air, which is owned by the national flag carrier Thai Airways, contacted authorities after the plane landed in Songkhla.


"The suspect said he committed the act because he was stressed," said Pol.Col. Pansak Meesaeng, superintendent of Klong Hoi Khong Police Station. Amnat also said he was severely sleep deprived and was having suicidal thoughts, according to police.


Amnat has been charged with violating aircraft commander's safety instructions, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and 40,000 baht fine. 


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