Passenger Opens Emergency Exit…Thought it was a Handrail!

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How about this reason for a flight delay?

A passenger on Urumqi Air flight 2505 from Urumqi (URC) to Zhengzhou
(CGO) caused a 30-minute delay when he accidentally opened the overwing
emergency exit. Mr. Xiong, 42, was traveling with his wife, Ms. Li, in
seats 15E and 15F. Before even sitting down, Mr. Xiong was grabbing the
emergency exit handle in attempt “to stable himself.” However, the
emergency exit propped open, and Mr. Xiong later said that he was just
trying to hold onto the handle, thinking it was like a handrail one
would find on a bus or a train.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 6.49.15 PM

The passenger was held for questioning by authorities and was
detained for 10 days in accordance with local laws. Mr. Xiang claimed
that this was not the first time he has flown, but it was the first time
he was seated in an emergency exit row. An airline representative said
that all passengers seated in the emergency exit rows were “briefed”
when their boarding passes were scanned, though it seems like “don’t
open the door” may not have been part of the briefing.

The overwing exit of the 737-800 operating the flight was not
equipped with an evacuation slide, so airline personnel were able to
reset the exit and the flight reportedly took off 30 minutes late. There
were no injuries from the incident which took place on March 16, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 6.49.51 PM

I don’t see why the passenger would lie about “thinking it was a
handrail,” but I have to wonder, is it really that easy to open an
emergency exit?

– Point Me to the Plane

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