A man who opened the emergency exit door on an Urumqi Airlines flight just as it was about to take off has claimed he had mistaken the handle for a handrail, in the latest incident in a seemingly unending series of similar ones involving passengers from mainland China, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
The man, 42, who was on the domestic flight from China's Xinjiang region with his wife last Saturday afternoon, pulled the door handle, unlocking and opening the door, and said he was shocked that it swung open, according to SCMP.
"I thought it was just like the handrail on the bus, which I can hold on to by myself if I find myself sitting unsteadily," he was quoted as saying by Xinjiang local news portal iyaxin.com.
He also said it was the first time he had sat next to the emergency exit door on a plane, SCMP reported.
He was detained for 10 days by the authorities for his actions, the news website reported.
Last month, a Chinese man opened the emergency exit door on a China Southern Airlines flight before take-off from Nanjing Airport on Monday, reported the local media. Giving no explanation for what he had done, the unidentified man then sat by the open door, staring outside.
In January, 25 Chinese passengers opened the emergency exit doors on a plane before take-off in a show of anger after their flight was delayed, Agence France-Presse reported.
On Dec 12, last year, a Chinese passenger on a China Eastern flight caused a two-hour delay when he attempted to get off the plane faster by using the emergency exit.
Also in last December, a Chinese man opened the emergency exit of a Xiamen Air plane just before take-off. The first-time traveller reportedly wanted to get some fresh air.