Aviation is a tricky phenomenon. Although, we fly tens of thousands of miles every year, it never ceases to amaze. A giant box carrying hundreds of people with its own oxygen supply, air pressure control, food, water etc. Amazing isn’t it?
Then there are the passengers. A few have too much to drink and create a scene. One left the infant child behind at the terminal. Some want to join the mile high club. And then this happened.
A passenger opened the emergency exit door and created panic. While the plane was on the runway ready for take-off. She had mistaken it for the restroom. It caused the plane to delay for more than five hours and activated the emergency sliding chute.
This incident happened on Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight PK702. The flight was from Manchester, UK to Islamabad, Pakistan. The plane was parked on the runway ready to take off. Unfortunately, one of the passengers mistook the emergency door to the lavatory. And she opened the armed door causing panic.
The airline was allowed to operate the flight with reduced load as the particular door was not available in case of emergency evacuation. Due to the inoperative door, 21 passengers were assigned different seats. Further, about 40 passengers were offloaded along with their luggage. Thankfully, all affected passengers were provided hotel accommodation. Many were rescheduled on to the next flight.
While reading about this, I came across an interesting fact. Deploying an emergency slide is not a small incident. It costs an airline between $6,000 and $30,000 whenever the emergency chute is deployed.
An inquiry has been ordered by higher-ups in PIA.