Bangkok (Agencies): A Canadian man has been arrested in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai after he allegedly opened the door on a commercial plane and triggered the evacuation slide prior to takeoff.
According to a statement issued by the Chiang Mai International Airport, the incident took place on the night of February 7.
The air traffic control tower was reportedly notified at 10:05 p.m. that Thai Airways flight TG121, due to depart for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, was waiting in line on the runway to take off when a passenger opened one of the plane’s doors, causing an evacuation slide to deploy.
The Airbus A320 was unable to be immediately moved, temporarily preventing other flights from taking off and landing, said the statement.
“After receiving the alert, we reached out to Thai Airways mechanics to get into the site to cut the evacuation slide off, then we towed the aircraft back to landing pit number 15,” said Wing Commander Ronnakorn Chalermsanyakorn, director of Chiang Mai International Airport, in the statement.
The director added that 13 flights in total were affected by the incident, including eight that were forced to circle in the air before being cleared to land. In total, 2,295 passengers were affected by the delays, said Ronnakorn.
Thai Airways issued a statement in response to the incident, noting that mechanics were able to repair and inspect the door in accordance with safety regulations, with the delayed flight eventually taking off for Bangkok after midnight.
“The flight continued its journey at 12:34 a.m. on the 8th of January,” said the statement. “All passengers, pilots and cabin crew were safe.”