The incident in Manchester, U.K. resulted in seven-hour delays

By Matt McNulty
June 11, 2019 03:18 PM
Pakistan International Airlines plane
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty

A passenger caused major delays after mistaking an airplane’s emergency exit door for a bathroom on Friday.

While the plane was still grounded in from Manchester, U.K. before heading to Pakistan at the time of the incident, passengers on board Pakistan International Airlines flight 702 to Islamabad were subjected to a seven-hour delay, according to a statement from the airline shared with CNN.

After the opening of the emergency door, “the exit slide deployed automatically” forcing all 40 passengers to be removed from the plane as a result, they added in the statement.

An airline spokesman told CNN that the incident was caused by a passenger mistaking the emergency exit for a bathroom.

All passengers were safely offloaded from the plane, CNN reports. A representative for PIA could not be reached by PEOPLE.

Pakistan International Airlines plane
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty

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This isn’t the first time a passenger mistook the emergency exit for a restroom. In October 2018, a first-time flyer in his mid-20s was on board a GoAir plane when he got up to use the restroom. However, instead of opening the door to the lavatory, he attempted to open the emergency exit in the back of the plane, according to a report from L’Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The airline told the outlet in a statement that once he attempted to open the door, it sparked an alarm and he was apprehended by crew members on board.

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A similar incident happened last month, when an elderly passenger was detained and ultimately arrested in China for “endangering the safety of an aircraft” after attempting to open an emergency door while the plane was grounded.

That passenger, identified only by his surname, Song, was attempting to beat the line to de-board the plane by opening the emergency exit door by his seat once the plane had landed.

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