A Canadian tourist has been detained after he opened the emergency exit door of a Thai Airways flight before takeoff at Chiang Mai Airport. The incident, which took place on Wednesday night, activated the inflatable slide of the flight, leading to a delay in takeoff, Reuters reported.
The Canadian man was taken into custody by local police. The passenger's lawyer claimed that the man was hallucinating when he opened the aircraft's door.
"He admitted that he opened the door, the reason was people were coming after him ... from his behaviour, it's likely he was hallucinating," the tourist's lawyer, Jirawat Yarnkiatpakdee, told local broadcaster ThaiPBS.
Confirming the incident, Chiang Mai airport director Ronnakorn Chalermsaenyakorn said the plane returned to the terminal and finally departed after technicians carried out safety inspections.
"The plane returned to the terminal and passengers disembarked, and technicians carried out safety inspections... After the inspection, the aircraft was cleared to depart with all passengers and crew safe," he further said.
A passenger, Ananya Tiangtae, said chaos broke out inside the plane as the man opened the emergency exit. "What if we were 30,000 feet above sea level? What would happen?" she said.
Last month, a man was arrested in Mexico after he opened a plane's emergency door and walked on the wing. A BBC report said the man took the step after the Guatemala City-bound plane was stuck for hours on the tarmac without air conditioning or water for passengers.