By Andrea Romano
May 09, 2019

Occasionally, for a variety of reasons, a passenger attempts to open a plane door either while the aircraft is still on the runway, or even midflight.

Luckily, opening a plane door while it’s in the air is nearly impossible for anyone with normal human strength, but that still doesn’t stop these incidents from happening.

According to Fox News, passengers on an Aer Lingus flight from Cork, Ireland, to London, England, in 2017, attempted to open the door on their plane while it was taxiing to a gate after making an emergency landing.

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A report from Ireland's Air Accident Investigation Unit, which was released earlier this week, describes the 2017 incident. According to the report, the cabin crew decided to return to the Cork Airport shortly after takeoff due to a “strong and persistent” smell on board.

Once the plane landed and was taxiing to the gate, the smell was still not letting up, so the pilot apparently announced to the cabin to make “rapid disembarkation” so all passengers can leave the plane as soon as possible. Most passengers were able to disembark through the proper exits, the report said.

Some passengers seated in the exit rows, unfortunately, took this direction to mean that they should make an immediate evacuation, prying open the plane’s emergency doors and deploying the emergency slides. 32 passengers ended up using the emergency exit slides to leave the plane, according to the report.

Deploying an emergency slide isn’t a small incident. It actually costs an airline between $6,000 and $30,000 whenever the slide is deployed. According to The Points Guy, people have even been arrested in the past for doing this unnecessarily.

Luckily, there were no injuries, though one passenger had to be hospitalized for feeling unwell, most likely due to the fumes. The strong smell on board was determined to be from an avionics bay blower fan. 

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