Taking a flight is the preferred mode of transport when we need to travel long-distance and generally, it is a safe and faster way to reach our destination. However, a blunder on this flight to Jaipur caused more than 30 passengers to suffer bleeding from their ears and noses.
In the Jet Airways plane to Jaipur on Thursday (Sept 20), BBC reported that the 9W 697 flight from Mumbai to Jaipur turned back to Mumbai shortly after take-off. This was because the crew had “forgotten” to turn on the switch to regulate cabin air pressure, which resulted in oxygen masks automatically deploying as well.
There were 166 passengers on board the plane and they started panicking when the oxygen masks came down but quickly put them on. However, more than 30 of them who were unable to put on the masks suffered from bleeding from their ears and noses, hence the plane turned back as the passengers’ symptoms started to get more alarming.
In a statement, Jet Airways admitted that the Thursday morning’s flight went back to Mumbai “due to the loss in cabin pressure and regretted the inconvenience caused to its passengers”. They added, “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 a few guests who complained of ear pain, bleeding nose etc.”
In light of the grave mistake the flight crew made, they have been suspended from their duties and are currently pending investigation. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will also be conducting an investigation on the airline as well.
Photos and videos of the chaos at that time were posted online. One of the passengers, Darshak Hathi shared a video on Twitter showing the scene when the oxygen masks dropped down and other passengers were putting them on.
A few other passengers on the flight also shared on social media saying that there was no information given about the incident other than the flight would be returning to Mumbai and no staff came forward to help them. Many of them were angry that they were left in the dark about the situation.
A doctor said that the five travellers are suffering from temporary mild deafness and they’re currently recuperating in a Mumbai hospital. India’s Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu has instructed that all airlines and airports perform a safety audit and asked the report to be submitted within 30 days.
Thankfully, the passengers are fine now but it was definitely a scary incident!