25 mins of horror: No warnings, only panic and screams, say Jet Airways passengers

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New Delhi: For the passengers of Jet Airways flight, the 25 minutes between take off and landing back at Mumbai airport were horrifying. Within minutes of take off at 5.52 am on September 20, the cabin pressure dropped as the pilots had forgotten to turn on the ‘bleed switch’ resulting in several passengers suffering nose and ear bleed, DGCA said
According to 39-year-old Prashant Sharma, who was on an official trip, the terrifying experience began 5-10 minutes into the flight.
Sharma said passengers started screaming and many of his co-passengers suffered nose and ear bleeding.
As the plane climbed, oxygen masks got deployed from overhead compartments and the crew announced that the flight would return to Mumbai, triggering panic among some passengers.
“I was sitting on an aisle seat when suddenly air pressure in the cabin dropped and oxygen masks came down. I saw a passenger sitting next to me bleeding from nose. Several others complained of extreme pain in their ears,” Sharma told PTI after he landed in Jaipur in an alternative flight.
“The crew announced that the plane will return…It then circled overhead for some time before landing. There was no announcement (related to the problem) from the crew,” said another passenger.
“Oxygen masks came out but no one gave us warning or instructions. They announced after 15 minutes that we’re landing but didn’t even tell where. It was very scary”, said a passenger.
Of the 166 passengers on board, 30 were affected, some suffered nose bleeding, a few had ear bleeding and some complained of headache. Five passengers were admitted in a hospital.
A passenger Satish Nair also complained of lack of any help from the crew. “No staff to help…no announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask. Passenger safety completely ignored,” he tweeted
Darshak Hathi , travelling on the flight, said after the plane took off the AC malfunctioned, then air pressure system malfunctioned too and oxygen masks dropped.
“Panic situation due to technical fault in flight 9W 0697”, he tweeted
Passenger Gravina Pereira tweeted, “emergency landing at Mumbai. Stranded with no information.”
The flight turned back and landed in Mumbai at around 6.15 am.
The crew has been taken off duty and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has started an investigation, DGCA added. Ministry of Civil Aviation has requested DGCA to file its report immediately on the issue.

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