Tourist sparks panic after opening plane door moments before takeoff in Thailand

A tourist sparked panic after tearing open a plane's emergency exit door moments before take-off.

The holidaymaker was onboard the Airbus A320 with 86 passengers ready to taxi across the tarmac in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, on Thursday but the tourist - who passengers said was drunk - rushed towards the wing door and ripped it from the hinges causing the inflatable slide to deploy.

Shocked passengers screamed while airport security staff pinned the blonde-haired man to the ground.

Local media dubbed him a ''crazed foreigner''.

The passenger was pictured wearing jeans, a blue shirt and white trainers after having his hands and feet cuffed inside the airport.

Staff from the Thai Smile airline said that more than 600,000 baht in damage had been caused by the incident.

The traveller, who has not been named, was detained in custody while airport officials investigated the incident.

One passenger onboard the plane said the tourist was ''drunk'' and had ''opened the emergency door causing a lot of drama and a delay''.

The flight, WE169, had been due to depart at 15:40 but was delayed. It eventually took off at around 17:00 for domestic destination Bangkok.

A spokesman for flag carrier Thai Airway's low cost subsidiary Thai Smile apologised for the incident. They said: ''The incident occurred when the plane was about to depart from Chiang Mai International Airport for Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.

''After the aircraft door had been successfully closed there was a wait for a taxi to take off.

''A foreign male passenger ran to open the emergency exit door next to the left wing of the plane. The incident caused the emergency door to be opened entirely and an emergency slide unfolded.

''The captain immediately suspended the flight and notified ground officials and security personnel to control the incident.

''The foreign man was detained but it it not yet clear what his motivation was to do this.''