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HomeNewsMan Arrested For Allegedly Opening Plane Door, Deploying Evacuation Slide

Man Arrested For Allegedly Opening Plane Door, Deploying Evacuation Slide

Man Arrested For Allegedly Opening Plane Door, Deploying Evacuation Slide

A man from Canada was apprehended in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai for reportedly opening the door of a commercial airplane and activating the evacuation slide before the scheduled takeoff.

As per an announcement from Chiang Mai International Airport, the occurrence occurred during the evening of February 7th.

At 10:05 p.m., the air traffic control tower received information that a passenger on Thai Airways flight TG121, scheduled for departure to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, opened one of the aircraft’s doors while it was in the queue on the runway, leading to the deployment of an evacuation slide.

The statement mentioned that the Airbus A320 couldn’t be promptly relocated, causing a temporary halt to the takeoff and landing of other flights.

“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 mentioned that the incident impacted a total of 13 flights, with eight of them being required to circle in the air before receiving clearance to land. Ronnakorn stated that a total of 2,295 passengers experienced delays as a result.

Thai Airways released a statement addressing the incident, stating that the maintenance crew successfully repaired and inspected the door in compliance with safety regulations. The departure of the delayed flight to Bangkok occurred 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.”


Chiang Mai Police Colonel Manuschai In-than, who oversees the investigation, informed CNN that Wong Sai Heung, a 40-year-old Canadian citizen, was apprehended at the location.

If convicted, he might be subjected to the death penalty, a maximum imprisonment of 20 years, and/or a fine ranging from 600,000 to 800,000 baht ($16,700-$22,300). It is important to mention that Thailand has not executed any prisoners since 2018.

Authorities mentioned that they did not know the reason behind the suspect’s action of opening the door. However, they observed that he seemed stressed and was challenged to engage in communication.

“We sent him to the Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital for an evaluation,” said Manuchai.

The police informed CNN that, by legal requirements, they ensured the suspect had legal representation and a translator present during questioning. They also stated their ongoing commitment to investigating the incident.

CNN has reached out to the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok for comment.

Man Arrested For Allegedly Opening Plane Door, Deploying Evacuation Slide