A female passenger of Xiamen Airlines was detained by police and may be required to pay a hefty fine after she activated the evacuation slide of the plane shortly before takeoff in Beijing, Ming Pao Daily reports.
The incident took place on Monday morning, just as Flight MF8118 was getting ready to leave Beijing Capital International Airport for Xiamen in Fujian province.
While the flight attendants were telling passengers that the emergency exit had been closed and to get ready for takeoff, a woman sitting on row 49 of the plane suddenly pulled the lever for activating the evacuation slide.
Flight attendants tried to stop her but it was too late as her action had already caused the slide to inflate, unfold and extend outside.
She was later taken away by police officers who were called aboard.
The flight was canceled as a result, forcing the other 113 passengers onboard to be rescheduled for other flights later in the day, the airline said.
The woman told police she did not realize her action would have such serious consequences, adding that she was only curious to see what would happen if the lever was pulled.
She was placed under a 12-day administrative detention for violating civil aviation safety regulations.
A legal expert told Beijing News the airline was entitled to demand compensation from the woman.
The airline could ask her to pay up to 450,000 yuan (US$66,250) if the evacuation slide had to be scrapped.
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