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Asiana Airlines to stop selling seats near emergency exit on Airbus A321s

<i>Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images</i><br/>An Asiana Airlines Airbus A321-200 is seen in Hanoi
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images
An Asiana Airlines Airbus A321-200 is seen in Hanoi

By Yoonjung Seo, CNN

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — Asiana Airlines will no longer sell tickets for certain emergency exit seats of its Airbus A321-200 aircraft, the airline said Sunday, following a recent incident in which a man allegedly opened a jetliner door during a flight.

The seats are number 26A on 174-seat A321s and number 31A on 195-seat models, the airline said in a statement. The seats are near the center of the plane, closest to the doors on the left-hand side of the single-aisle aircraft.

“This measure is a safety precaution and applies even if the flight is full,” the statement said. The corresponding seat on the right-hand side is where flight attendants sit for takeoff and landing.

On Friday afternoon, a passenger appeared to have open the emergency door of an Asiana Airlines plane just before it was about to land at Daegu airport in the southern part of South Korea, an airline official said.

Local police said the man had been arrested in connection with the incident. He told them he had been under a lot of stress after losing his job recently and had felt suffocated and wanted to get off the plane quickly, Yonhap news agency reported.

Video of the incident showed wind whipping through the plane’s cabin as terrified passengers gripped their armrests.

A total of 200 people were on board, including 194 passengers, according to Asiana Airlines.

According to the Daegu Fire Department, 12 people suffered minor injuries from hyperventilation and nine of them were sent to hospitals in Daegu.

The jet was on a flight from Jeju island, off South Korea’s southern coast, to Daegu.

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CNN’s Teele Rebane, Sophie Jeong, Alex Stambaugh and Brad Lendon contributed to this report.

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