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Passengers ‘bleed’ as jet crew forgets to activate switch
September 21, 2018
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MUMBAI: At least 30 passengers of a Jet Airways flight suffered ear and nose bleeding due to low cabin pressure early on Thursday during the aircraft’s ascent here, following which the government ordered a safety audit plan for airlines, officials said.

Jet Airways later said it has derostered the cockpit crew concerned, who will remain off duties pending investigation.

Airport sources said the incident could be a result of the crew’s alleged failure to activate what is called a “bleed switch” before the take-off, leading to disturbance in the cabin pressure and forcing use of oxygen masks.

Taking a serious note of the incident, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to prepare a comprehensive safety audit plan involving safety parameters on all airlines, airports, flying training schools, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility immediately.

He also directed that the safety audit must start forthwith and the report submitted to him within 30 days and corrective action taken immediately on deficiencies found during the audit, an official said.

Several passengers on the Mumbai-Jaipur flight 9W-697 − carrying 166 persons and five crew on board − complained of severe headache and pain in the ears after the take-off around 6:00am from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA).

The flight was forced to return soon after, a Jet Airways spokesperson said. The ailing passengers were deboarded and rushed to the terminal building where they were administered first aid by doctors.

At least five male passengers, whose condition was worse, were taken to the Nanavati Hospital and kept under observation after undergoing various tests.

Hospital COO Rajendra Patankar told media persons that they were suffering from “mild conductive deafness.”

Indo-Asian News Services

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