A Canadian tourist who suffered a panic attack and believed he was being stalked by an underground organization on a packed passenger plane allegedly attempted to unlock the emergency exit door during takeoff.
Wong Sai Heung, 40, was arrested Wednesday after he frightened fellow travelers tried to exit the Airbus A320 as it was departing from Chiang Mai International Airport in Thailand at around 9 p.m. local time, according to Nation Thailand.
Moments after the doors had been sealed and the aircraft was lining up on the runway, Heung began to scream and allegedly demanded a flight attendant open the door on Thai Airways flight TG121 so he could exit the aircraft.
As the flight attendant refused to comply with Heung’s manic demands, he bolted toward an exit behind the cockpit of the plane and attempted to push it open.
Soon after, law enforcement stormed onto the plane and arrested the crazed tourist.
“All the passengers, pilots and crew members were safe,” the airline told the outlet.
The tourist’s outburst also disrupted other arriving flights, which had to wait in a holding pattern in the sky to land due to the active scene on the runway.
Wong was charged with acting in a way that would imperil an aircraft and then taken to the Phuping Rajanivej Police Station for questioning.
Wong, who told police he worked as a computer engineer in Vancouver, explained that he suffered from panic disorder, which was triggered before the plane was set to take off.
A translator for the Canadian told police that Wong was fearful he was going to be attacked, adding that he was being stalked by an underground organization, the outlet reported.
That fear then allegedly led him to open the door so he could jump off the aircraft.
After TG121 was returned to the gate, Thai Airways said the plane took off for Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok at around 12:30 a.m. the following day.
Wong’s alleged manic episode and arrest come only two weeks after an Air Canada passenger “in a state of crisis” attempted to open a door during a flight from London to Toronto, which forced fellow passengers to restrain him.
An elderly man onboard Flight AC855 on Jan. 21 tried to open the aircraft’s door midflight, which is impossible at cruising altitude.
The cabin crew restrained the passenger “as part of their flight safety protocols,” cops told the outlet. He was met by police at Toronto Pearson International Airport about 3 p.m.
In another frightening incident on Jan. 10, a passenger on a different Air Canada flight opened the plane’s door and fell to the tarmac while boarding in Toronto for a flight to Dubai.
The man suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital after the incident, which resulted in a six-hour delay.