A day after several passengers on board a Jaipur-bound Jet Airways flight suffered ear and nose bleeds following the cabin crew's negligence, a complaint was lodged against the staff for dereliction of duty amounting to attempt to murder of the travelers.
The incident occurred onboard flight 9W 0697 from Mumbai to Jaipur when the crew members "forgot" to turn on a switch that controls cabin air pressure. Aviation regulator DGCA said during the climb stage of the flight, the crew forgot to select 'bleed switch' due to which cabin pressure could not be maintained. "As a result, oxygen masks got deployed," it said.
Five of the flyers who suffered bleeding were suffering from "mild conductive deafness", according to a hospital. They were taken to Dr Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, while the rest were attended to by doctors at the Mumbai airport after the flight was forced to turn back.
As per their preliminary examination by ENT doctors, the five passengers suffered "barotrauma" of the ear, which is caused due to a change in air pressure, said Rajendra Patankar, chief operating officer of Dr Balabhai Nanavati Hospital.
The pilots of the Boeing 737 aircraft have been taken off duty pending investigation, a Jet Airways spokesperson said. “Of 166 passengers on board, 30 passengers are affected... some have nose bleeding, few have ear bleeding and some are complaining of headache," he added.
A video apparently taken by a passenger showed oxygen masks hanging from overhead compartments and passengers breathing through them.
Panic situation due to technical fault in @jetairways 9W 0697 going from Mumbai to Jaipur. Flt return back to Mumbai after 45 mts. All passengers are safe including me. pic.twitter.com/lnOaFbcaps— Darshak Hathi (@DarshakHathi) 20 September 2018
According to the airline, the aircraft 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," it said.
The Civil Aviation Ministry said it has requested the DGCA to immediately file the report on the issue, adding that the crew was being derostered.
An official at Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) said that going by the preliminary information, it could be a case of negligence on the part of the pilots since controlling cabin pressure control is part of check before operating a flight. The official said the DGCA would look into the incident first and then a decision would be taken on whether the matter should be referred to the AAIB.