Authorities at an airport in Kunming, Yunnan province arrested two passengers on Saturday for opening three of the plane’s emergency exits before their flight to Beijing was about to takeoff.
One of the arrested passengers was a female tour guide from Beijing surnamed Li, who was given 15 days of detention for inciting the crowd and disturbing public order. The other, a young man surnamed Zhao, was given the same penalty for opening two of the emergency doors, Sina News reports.
The China Eastern Airlines flight MU2036 had experienced a three-hour delay in the first leg of the trip from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Kunming on Friday night and the second leg from Kunming to China’s capital was again delayed as snow was removed from the plane before takeoff. After the air-conditioning system was switched off, the 150 irritated passengers were left sitting in the stuffy plane, seven hours behind schedule, and a dispute reportedly broke out between passengers and the cabin crew.
Just as the flight was getting ready for takeoff, three of the emergency doors were found open. A total of 25 passengers are now being investigated for their involvement in the incident, and one passenger received a warning for falsely publishing on social media that the exits were opened to stop the plane from taking off because the pilot scolded passengers.
The case comes less than a month after a passenger pulled open the emergency exit of a plane so that he could get some “fresh air” on a Xiamen Airlines flight from Hangzhou to Chengdu. Not long before that, a Chinese passenger deployed the emergency slide on a plane because he wanted to speed up the disembarking process, resulting in around 100,000 yuan in damages to the airliner. These, as you may recall, come on the heels of a series of other instances involving travelers behaving badly on planes. Let’s hope the beginning of the Lunar New Year gets off to a better start, travel-wise.
[Images via Sina // iFeng // CCTV News]