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Updated February 10th, 2024 at 20:52 IST

40 Year-Old Canadian Man Opens Plane Door Before Takeoff in Thailand, Police Probe Motive

A Canadian man was arrested in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai after he allegedly opened the door of a plane before the takeoff.

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Canadian Man opens door of Thai Airways plane before takeoff | Image:X
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Bangkok – A Canadian man was arrested in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai after he allegedly opened the door on a commercial aircraft and triggered the evacuation slide before the plane took off. According to CNN, the authorities at the Chiang Mai International Airport said that the incident took place on February 7. As per the reports, the air traffic control tower notified at 10:05 pm that Thai Airways flight TG121, due to depart for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport was waiting in line when the passenger opened on the of the plane’s door. The incident also prevented other flights from taking off from the region causing a major disruption.

“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 informed that 13 flights in total were affected by the incident and around eight planes were forced to circle the air before being cleared to make a landing. Shortly after the incident, Thai Airways issued a statement in which they mentioned that they 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,” the statement reads.  “All passengers, pilots and cabin crew were safe,” the body furthered.

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The prime suspect

Chiang Mai Police Colonel Manuschai In-thuean who was the officer in charge of the case told CNN that the Canadian national named Wong Sai Heung was arrested from the scene. As per the reports, the 40-year-old Canadian national if found guilty could face imprisonment of up to 20 years and/or a 600,000-800,000 baht ($16,700-$22,300) fine. While the authorities mentioned that they are yet to establish the suspect’s motive, the police told CNN that they provided the suspect with a lawyer and a translator during the interrogation process. “We sent him to the Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital for an evaluation,” said Manuchai. He also mentioned that a preliminary investigation found that the Canadian national was appeared to be stressed before he boarded the flight. 
 

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Published February 10th, 2024 at 20:39 IST

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