Plane Passengers in India Bleed From the Ears, Nose After Crew Forgets About Cabin Pressure

Thirty passengers on a Jet Airways flight had a bloodbath of a trip after crew members forgot to maintain pressure inside the aircraft.

The flight, which was traveling from Mumbai to Jaipur, had to return shortly after oxygen masks were deployed.

In a statement, Jet Airways, a major Indian airline, said that it “regretted” the Thursday night incident.

“The B737 aircraft, with 166 guests and 5 crew landed normally in Mumbai. All guests were deplaned safely and taken to the terminal. First aid was administered to few guests who complained of ear pain, bleeding nose, etc.”

Investigations of India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation revealed that the crew “forgot” to flip the switch that regulates cabin pressure.

The 9W 697 Mumbai-Jaipur flight was turned back to Mumbai after take off as, during the climb, crew forgot to select switch to maintain cabin pressure. This resulted in the oxygen masks dropping,” senior official Lalit Gupta told the Hindustan Times. “Thirty out of 166 passengers experienced nose and ear bleeding, some also complained of headache.”

Image via Flickr / Kentaro Iemoto (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Planes normally travel between altitudes of 28,000 and 35,000 feet, where air pressures are significantly lower than those on the earth’s surface. For this reason, cabins require pressurization to maintain safe levels of oxygen.

Without pressurization, the air becomes drier and thinner, leading to compromised membranes in the ears and nose. As a result, pain and/or bleeding may occur.

Image via Flickr / Paul Hamilton (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pictures of bleeding passengers have caught ire on social media.

One passenger described the trip as a “flight to hell.”

A day after the incident, a complaint was lodged against the staff of the said flight.

According to CNN-News18, five of the passengers who bled had suffered from “mild conductive deafness” resulting from trauma to the ears.

The flight’s pilots have been suspended pending further investigation, while the cabin crew have been derostered.

Whoever is responsible for the incident remains unclear, but an official from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau said that it could be negligence on the pilots’ part as controlling cabin pressure is part of pre-flight checks.

Featured Image via Twitter / @SubodhK_

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