• Asiana Airlines said that the door was opened when the plane was at an altitude of 700 feet
  • The airline said that it is impossible to open the door when the airplane is high up in the air
  • The man was detained upon landing in Daegu, South Korea

Asiana Airlines has stopped selling certain emergency exit seats after authorities said a passenger forcibly opened a door in its aircraft during a flight in South Korea Friday, causing extreme panic and distress inside the jet.

As a safety precaution, passengers will no longer be seated in the 26A seat of 11 174-seat A321-200 passenger jets and the 31A seat of three 195-seat A321-200s jets starting Sunday, the South Korean airline said in a statement obtained by local news agency Yonhap News Agency.

Asiana Airlines domestic flight OZ8124 from the southern island of Jeju to the city of Daegu made headlines when a passenger opened the emergency door of an A321-200 aircraft minutes before landing Friday afternoon.

The incident was recorded in a video, which has since gone viral on social media. The clip, which CNN obtained and shared on Twitter, showed wind whipping through the plane's cabin and passengers gripping their armrests in fear.

An airline official said the man, who is in his 30s and was sitting in the emergency seat, seemed to have opened the door when the aircraft was about 700 feet (213 meters) above the ground, CNN reported.

"The airplane is automatically set to adjust the pressure of the cabin according to the altitude of the aircraft. When the aircraft is high up in the air, it is impossible to open the door, but when the altitude is low and close to landing, the door can be opened," a spokesperson for Asiana Airlines told CNN.

The man, identified only by his surname Lee, was detained after the aircraft landed at Daegu airport Friday.

During questioning, the man told Daegu police that he felt suffocated and wanted to get off the plane quickly, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Police also said the man told them he was under stress after losing his job recently.

None of the 194 passengers and six crew members aboard the plane were hurt in the incident. But 12 passengers showed symptoms of breathing difficulty, and some of them were taken to a hospital, according to Yonhap.

A Daegu district court formally approved Sunday a warrant to formally arrest the suspect. Police had sought an arrest warrant for the man, citing the seriousness of his case and the risk of the man fleeing.

"I wanted to get off the plane soon," the man, whose face was covered by a black hoodie, a cap and a mask, told reporters at the court, 9News reported.

"I'm really sorry to kids (sic)," he added, likely referring to the teenage athletes onboard the flight who according to Asiana Airlines officials were on their way to a track and field competition.

Daegu police said they have up to 20 days to investigate the incident and determine whether to send the man to prosecutors for a possible indictment.

If convicted, the man will face a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison for violating aviation security law that bars passengers from handling entry doors, emergency exit doors and other equipment onboard, according to the South Korean Transport Ministry.

Asiana Airlines
Getty Images/ DANIEL SLIM