By Cailey Rizzo
April 26, 2019
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Cabin crew on board an easyJet flight from London to Pisa had to subdue a passenger on Wednesday after he tried to force open an emergency exit while the plane was at cruising altitude.

The passenger walked down the aisle of the plane in the middle of the three-hour flight and attempted to open the emergency exit door. Passengers and cabin crew subdued the man, strapping him into a seat until the landing in Italy, where he was taken into police custody.

“He was in the toilet for about a minute. When he came out he went towards the emergency exit and grabbed the handle and tried to open the door,” passenger Richard Conyard told The Sun. “One of the crew screamed at him to stop and other passengers started shouting and crying. Everyone was understandably very scared.”

In a statement, the airline confirmed that the pilot “requested police to meet the aircraft on arrival as a passenger made an attempt to open one of the cabin doors during the descent. While it would not have been possible to open the door due to the cabin pressurization, the crew responded quickly to ensure the passenger remained seated until landing.”

It is impossible to open the emergency exit while a plane is in flight. Cabin pressure makes it physically impossible for human force alone. It would take (at least) the force of a hydraulic jack to pry an exit door open while in flight. If a captain knows there is an emergency situation, they will start to descend altitude and depressurize the plane so cabin crew can open the emergency exits when a landing is safe.

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