Passengers on a Jet Airways flight ended up with bloody ears and noses after pilots forgot to pressurize the plane

A Jet Airways flight was forced to make an emergency landing after its pilots failed to pressurize the jet after take off. The flight crew on Jet Airways Flight 697 from Mumbai to Jaipur, India forgot to press the bleed air switch, causing five passengers to be hospitalized. Some passengers even complained of bleeding from their ears and noses due to low cabin pressure levels, CNN reported.

On September 20, 2018, Jet Airways Flight 9W697, a Boeing 737 with 166 passengers and five crew members onboard “made an air turn back due to loss in cabin pressure,” Jet Airways said in a statement on Twitter.

Indian aviation regulator — Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) confirmed that the incident was caused by an error by the flight crew.

“During climb, crew forgot to select ‘bleed switch’ due to which cabin pressurization could not be maintained, and oxygen masks got deployed,” the agency told CNN affiliate News18 India.

The flight crew have since been taken off scheduled duties pending an investigation, the airline said on Twitter.

The airline told Business Insider in a separate statement that the “5 guests who were referred to a hospital for additional medical check-up accompanied by the Jet Airways’ Care team have since been released, post medical examination.”

“The airline will continue to offer necessary medical care and attention to the concerned guests as required,” Jet Airways said.

Select Bleed, or engine bleed air, is the switch which pressurizes an airliner’s cabin as well as air conditioning.

Modern jetliners can cruise at altitudes between 30,000 and 40,000 feet, levels with air pressure far less than what our bodies are accustomed to. Cabin pressure is thus maintained by the aircraft in order for it to be comfortable for humans. When air pressure is lower, there is less oxygen available and the air itself becomes thinner and drier, which can cause bleeding from the ears and nose.

The website FlightRadar tweeted out an image that shows the route Flight 9W687 took before and after turning back to Mumbai.

One passenger onboard tweeted out a video of the chaos that unfolded once oxygen masks were dropped, due to the sudden loss in air pressure:

According to a statement from Jet Airways to Business Insider, “144 of the 166 guests of the original flight traveled to Jaipur via an alternative flight of the airline, while 17 of them wished to travel at another point in time.”

Jet Airways also added that they are, “extending full cooperation to the DGCA for the ongoing investigation of the event.”

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