A passenger on a GoAir flight from Delhi to Patna, India, created “pandemonium” when he tried to open the emergency exit door midflight, claiming he mistook it for the lavatory.
Other passengers onboard the Saturday flight said the man, a first-time flier in his late 20s, began tugging on the door and said he “needed to use the washroom urgently,” the Independent reported.
When people realized what he was trying to do, they alerted crew members, who persuaded him to return to his seat for the remainder of the flight.
Sanowar Khan, the officer in charge of the local police, told the Times of India there was “pandemonium” as the man attempted to unlock the exit door. Some passengers reportedly even wrestled with the man and were injured in the struggle.
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), a branch of the Indian military in charge of airport security, told the Times that the man was able to get the door unlocked, but was unsuccessful at opening it due to the cabin pressure. However, a spokesperson from the airline said he wasn’t able to unlock it, either, according to the Independent.
Once the flight landed safely, the man was taken into custody and questioned by authorities, who deemed the incident to be a genuine mistake. “There was no ulterior motive behind his act,” Khan told the Times.
This isn’t the first time a passenger has tampered with the emergency exit door on a flight. Earlier this year, a 25-year-old man who had just flown from the island province of Hainan in Southern China to Sichuan, China was preparing to deplane when he deployed the aircraft’s emergency exit.
A passenger in China claimed he opened the emergency exit door by accident.
He said he was feeling hot and pushed down on the window handle, not realizing it would open the door. The man was fined more than $11,000 and was reportedly detained for 15 days “for the unauthorized removal of aviation facilities.”