Passengers were up in arms when an emergency exit door dropped off during a Nigerian flight, which the airline has blamed on tampering, according to reports.

A Dana Air flight heading from Lagos to Abuja shocked passengers when the emergency exit door buckled as the plane landed at the at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Nigeria Wednesday, BBC News reported. 

The airliner opened an investigation into the malfunction, which it claimed was the result of a passenger. However, they denied ever coming into contact with the exit door. 

"It was very horrible. The flight was noisy with vibrations from the floor panel. I only noticed the emergency door latch mid-flight was loose facing 5,0clock and dangling," Dapo Sanwo, a passenger on the flight told BBC.

He added: "I tried to call the air hostesses about it. But the fasten seat belt was on and the hostess was head bowed. When we landed and the plane was taxiing back to the park point, we heard a poof like explosion followed by a surge of breeze."

Dana Air released a statement to BBC News stating that the exit door cannot open without assistance. The airline said that the door had been cleared by engineers and a Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) representative during a pre-flight inspection.

"The emergency exit door of our aircraft are plug-type backed by pressure, which ordinarily cannot fall off without tampering or a conscious effort to open by a crew member or passenger," spokesperson Kingsley Ezenwa wrote. "When an aircraft is airborne, it is fully pressurized and there was no way the seat or door could have been shaking as insinuated."

Authorities did not find an issue during the inspection, the company said.

"The [return] flight was only delayed for eight minutes as we needed to demonstrate to the regulators that the safety and comfort of our guests is at the centre of our operations," the statement added.

Meanwhile, the NCAA said it had launched a probe of the incident, according to the Premium Times.

"We have commenced an investigation into the incident," Director General of NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman told the publication. "It is through investigation that we will know what actually happened and to prevent such from happening again in the future. We have sent four inspectors to the airline to investigate what happened."