Passengers on a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur suffered from nosebleeds, bleeding from the ears and headaches, according to the Times of India. Doctors are now attending all the passengers on the Mumbai airport.
According to eyewitnesses, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft took off normally, but while it was gaining altitude, the passengers began experiencing severe ear ache, and oxygen masks came down automatically.
A director with India's Ministry of Civil Aviation later told the Hindustan Times that 30 passengers - almost one in five on the plane - bled from their ears or nose, and some also suffered headaches. In a statement, Jet Airways concedes the plane had to return to Mumbai "due to loss in cabin pressure" and that it "regretted" the incident, per the BBC.
Oxygen masks dropped from the cabin's ceiling.
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An official with India's national aviation regulator told the Press Trust of India the crew "forgot to select (the) bleed switch" to maintain the aircraft's cabin pressure. "No announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask", one person wrote, as he posted photos of himself inside the plane and on the tarmac after the aircraft landed.
Almost 15 minutes into the flight, he said, an attendant finally got on the loudspeaker and told everyone to put their masks on.
The switch that works the crucial air-conditioning in the pressurised cabin is usually kept on.
The airline said five people were hospitalized and have been released.
In a statement posted to its Facebook page, Jet Airways confirmed that 5 passengers were taken to a hospital for medical attention after the plane landed, but did not confirm what caused the injuries. India's Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked for a report ASAP from its investigatory arm, Al Jazeera reports. All guests were deplaned safely and taken to the terminal.
Meanwhile, furious passengers onboard the flight vented their ire via social media accusing the airline of completely ignoring their plight during the incident.