Pilots’ blunder almost cost the lives of over 30 passengers on a Boeing 737 flight which was bearing 166 Indian passengers.
Videos tweeted by passengers aboard the plane showed oxygen masks deployed inside the aircraft.
Some of the passengers were bleeding from their noses and ears, although they have received treatment after pilots “forgot” to turn on a switch regulating cabin pressure, officials said.
Jet Airways flight 9W 697 from Mumbai to Jaipur turned back shortly after take off.
The aviation ministry gave the excuse that the cockpit crew had been taken off duty pending an investigation.
Lalit Gupta, a senior official of India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), told the Hindustan Times newspaper that the crew had forgotten to select a switch to maintain cabin pressure.
Jet Airways said in a statement that Thursday morning’s flight had turned back
“due to loss in cabin pressure” and “regretted” the inconvenience caused to its passengers.
“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 statement said.
The airline said it was co-operating fully with the DGCA investigation.
Passenger Darshak Hathi tweeted a video of the interior of the cabin as air pressure dropped and oxygen masks came down.