Passengers on an Indian Jet Airways flight were left bleeding from their noses and ears after the crew reportedly failed to properly pressurise the cabin.
The flight returned to Mumbai shortly after take-off after dozens of passengers complained of ear pain and nose bleeding due to the loss in cabin pressure in the plane.
Oxygen masks were deployed inside the Boeing 737, which was carrying 166 people bound for Jaipur, before it landed safely back in Mumbai, the airline said.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Lalit Gupta, deputy director general at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said the crew had forgotten to turn on a switch regulating the cabin pressure.
Medical help was given to 30 passengers on board the plane, which stopped climbing at 11,000 feet before returning to India’s financial capital, according to Flightradar24.
One person described “panic stations” as footage showed passengers using the oxygen masks deployed before the plane returned “after 45 minutes”.
Another added: “Flight 9W697 made an emergency landing back in Mumbai. Airplane lost pressure immediately after taking off. Scores of passengers including me bleeding from the nose.
“No staff to help… No announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask. Passenger safety completely ignored,” the angry passenger wrote on social media.
Jet Airways said in a statement: “Five guests who were referred to a hospital for additional medical check-up accompanied by the Jet Airways Care Team have since been released.
“We will continue to offer necessary medical care and attention to the concerned guests. We are also extending full cooperation to the DGCA for the ongoing investigation of the event.
“We regret the inconvenience caused to our guests.”
The airline said the flight's cockpit crew was taken off scheduled duties pending an investigation.