According to The Independent, an airline passenger who opened the emergency exit on a plane because he thought the cabin was “too stuffy and hot”, has been fined thousands of pounds.
The man, identified only by the surname Chen, was detained by authorities for 15 days following the incident at Nanjiao Airport, in Mianyang City, southwest China.
The low-cost carrier Lucky Air flight from the southern city of Sanya, on Hainan Island, had landed, when he opened the door.
Chinese authorities told the South China Morning Post that the 25-year-old claimed he had “waited in the aisle for 10 minutes as passengers left the plane” and that the cabin was “too stuffy and too hot”.
In an attempt to get some fresh air, Chen then lifted the latch on the plane’s emergency exit, causing the door to fall off and activating the evacuation slide.
“I just pushed down on the window handle beside me,” he reportedly told investigators. “When the door fell out, I panicked.”
Mr Chen was immediately arrested by airport police and later handed over to Mianyang Public Security Bureau personnel, who kept him in detention and questioned him for 15 days.
Mianyang City’s civil aviation administration said Mr Chen’s actions caused major flight delays, while the bill for work to rectify his mistake ran upwards of 100,000 Yuan (£11,500).
Authorities said the incident may have damaged the jet’s evacuation slide, meaning costs could eventually rise several times higher.
Mr Chen was reportedly fined 70,000 Yuan (£8,000) to cover the Lucky Air’s costs, while the airline suggested it may yet pursue further damages from the unfortunate passenger.
“Before each take off, flight attendants inform passengers about safety precautions,” it added in a statement.
The incident echoes a similar mishap in 2014, when a Chinese airline passenger pulled open an emergency exit on his plane shortly before it was due to take off because he “wanted fresh air”.
A first-time flier, the man was worried he would become airsick, but instead resulted in delaying the flight’s take-off by almost an hour.