While some of us fear flying and some of us can’t wait to board our next flight, it’s safe to say that no one enjoys nor anticipates bleeding from their nose and ears after takeoff.
On Sept. 20, more than 30 passengers on Jet Airways Flight 9W 697 from Mumbai to Jaipur suffered bleeding from the nose and ears after the flight crew allegedly forgot to turn on a switch that regulates cabin pressure in order for passengers to feel more comfortable.
According to AeroSavvy, an aviation insights website, “To survive high altitudes, occupants of an aircraft need help breathing. The solution is to pump air into the airplane, so the interior pressure is high enough to keep the humans happy.”
Oxygen bags were deployed from above the seats and many passengers took to social media to post photos of the incident.
One passenger posted various images of himself wearing the oxygen mask, with remnants of blood visible around his face. He captioned the photo saying, “…scores of passengers including me bleeding from nose. No staff to help. No announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask. Passenger safety completely ignored.”
Passenger Darshak Hathi tweeted a horrific video of oxygen masks falling from overhead lockers, stating, “Panic situation due to technical fault in Jet Airways flight going from Mumbai to Jaipur. Flight is returning back to Mumbai after 45 minutes. All passengers are safe including me.”
Lalit Gupta, a senior official of India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), told Newsweek that, “During climb, the crew forgot to select the switch due to which cabin pressure could not be maintained. As a result, oxygen masks got deployed.”
Eight people were taken to hospital after landing and the flight was forced to turn back to Mumbai succeeding the incident.
Jet Airways took the cockpit crew off duty pending an investigation into the occurrence. This is the second time this year Jet Airways has been involved in an in-flight incident. In January, the airline had to ground two pilots following reports of a fight inside the cockpit during a flight from London to Mumbai, according to BBC News.
In a statement on Sept. 20, Jet Airways said, “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.”
The airline added that it regretted the incident.
Incidentally, Jet Airways earned a spot on our list of The 10 Worst Airlines Of 2018.