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Passengers bleed from ears on flight after crew fails to engage cabin pressure

Jet Airways Boeing 777 (Uday Bararia/WikiCommons)
September 22, 2018

After the flight crew of a Jet Airways plane purportedly failed to pressurize the cabin, several panicking passengers suffered from nose and ear bleeds, and the plane had to return to Mumbai after just 45 minutes.

On Thursday, Flight 9W697 was bound to Jaipur from Mumbai. An official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said: “During climb, crew forgot to select bleed switch due to which cabin pressurization could not be maintained, and oxygen masks got deployed,” CNN reported.

Video footage shows passengers engaging their oxygen masks, which is customary when the cabin pressure drops.

Low pressure inside of a plane causes the air to become dry and thin, often associated with nosebleeds. Additionally, the altitude an airplane flies at causes low air pressure, resulting in much lower amounts of available oxygen. Therefore, airplanes pressurize the cabins to accommodate the adequate oxygen levels while the aircraft is at high altitudes.

Jet Airways issued a statement, saying: “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. Flight 9W697 “made an air turn back due to loss in cabin pressure. Jet Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to guests. ”

The airline would not confirm or deny that the flight crew failed to engage the necessary action to pressurize the cabin.

A passenger of Flight 9W697, Joel D’Souza, said: “I saw many people having nose bleeds. I took off my oxygen mask for one second and felt so stuffy and hot in the cabin. There was no announcement by the crew and nobody knew what to do.”

D’Souza grabbed another flight, along with some other passengers.

Satish Nair, who was also a passenger aboard the plane, sent out a tweet with a photo of him wearing an oxygen mask, The Sun reported. He said that “the safety of passengers had been completely ignored” by Jet Airways. He added, “[That was] horrifying and the worst incident of my life.”

Jet Airways is conducting an investigation and said the cockpit crew “has been taken off scheduled duties pending the investigation.”