NEW DELHI: A day after a Jet Airways flight made an emergency landing after the passengers on board fell sick, the crew has been booked for attempt to murder. A complaint was lodged against Jet Airways staff and crew members of Mumbai-Jaipur flight No. 9W 0697 for dereliction of duties amounting to attempt of murder of travellers on board.
At least 30 passengers onboard the flight fell sick, some bled from nose and ear, after the attending crew failed to turn on a switch that controls cabin air pressure. Several passengers also complained of headache.
Five of the passengers were diagnosed with "mild conductive deafness" which is caused due to a change in air pressure. Nanavati Hospital's chief operating officer Rajendra Patankar said their health condition was stable and they did not require admission.
"The five patients, all males, have mild conductive deafness, a temporary condition which is likely to take a week or 10 days to heal. They are advised not to fly till then. Whatever medication is required for the treatment of mild deafness, has been advised," Patankar said.
The Mumbai-Jaipur flight was carrying 166 passengers and five crew members on board. The Boeing 737 aircraft returned to Mumbai due to "loss of cabin pressure" and the pilots have been taken off duty pending investigation, a Jet Airways spokesperson said.
"During climb, the crew forgot to select bleed switch due to which cabin pressurisation could not be maintained. As a result, oxygen masks got deployed," the official at aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered a safety audit of all scheduled airlines and airports.
Recounting the ordeal, he said about 15 to 20 minutes after the takeoff, the oxygen masks got deployed from the overhead compartments but there was no instructions on whether to use it or not. "There was no announcement from the pilots or crew whether we were going ahead or landing. The crew members panicked more than the passengers," he claimed, while talking to reporters outside the hospital.
"Suddenly, we smelt like a wire was burning. The pressure was so high that we were covering our ears and holding the oxygen mask with our hands but it was still intolerable. Still, there was no announcement from pilots or crew members as to what exactly was the problem," Kala said. He further said that during landing, there was extreme pressure in the flight and he kept covering his ears and holding the mask, and fell unconscious for 10 to 15 seconds.
"When I removed my mask it was full of blood. I told my co-passengers that I am bleeding and waved to the air hostess, but she told me to remain seated and that all is normal," Kala said. He said after landing, there was no proper medication at the airport and that there were two compounders who cleaned the injuries with cotton.