India airliner turns back due to bleeding passengers

A Jet Airways flight in India had to turn back in mid-flight Thursday as low cabin pressure caused some passengers to experience ear aches and nosebleeds.

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Pilots on the flight from Mumbai to Jaipur forgot to switch on the system to maintain cabin pressure, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said.

“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,” DGCA Deputy Director General Lalit Gupta said. “Thirty out of 166 passengers experienced nose and ear bleeding, some also complained of headache.”

Passenger Prashant Sharma said air masks were deployed about 5-10 minutes into the flight, and said he never realized flying could be “so terrifying.”

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Over 30 passengers had nosebleeds and many headaches, NDTV reported. One was taken to the hospital.

Jet Airways said the Boeing 737 landed safely in Mumbai.

“All guests were deplaned safely and taken to the terminal,” the carrier said. “First aid was administered to few guests who complained of ear pain, bleeding nose etc. The flight’s cockpit crew has been taken off scheduled duties pending investigation. The airline is making alternative flight arrangements for guests on this flight. Jet Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to its guests.”

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The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has started an investigation.

In a separate incident earlier this year, another Jet Airways flight had to turn back mid-flight when two pilots got into a fight and left the plane’s cockpit unattended during a flight from London to Mumbai.

Both pilots were fired from the private airline after the altercation.

BySommer Brokaw