In what appears to be a case of negligence and oversight, at least 166 passengers aboard a Jet Airways flight suffered nose bleed and headaches when the cabin crew forgot to select the switch that maintains cabin pressure during take-off.

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.

The incident was reported on board a Mumbai-Jaipur Jet Airways flight on Thursday. According to reports, Jaipur-bound flight 9W 697 was turned back to Mumbai mid-air due to the incident. During the climb, the crew forgot to select the switch that maintains the cabin pressure following which 30 out of the 166 passengers experienced nose and ear bleeding. Many also complained of headache. Oxygen masks had to be deployed to help the passengers breathe normally. The flight was later scheduled to take off at 10.15 am for Jaipur.

“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,” an official at aviation regulator DGCA told PTI.

All the 166 passengers were given first aide by doctors at the Mumbai airport, a journalist reported on Twitter citing sources from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Several passangers also tweeted their ordeal.

According to a passenger, who tweeted out a video from within the aircraft, all the people in the flight are now safe. There were 166 passengers and 5 crew members on board flight 9W 697.

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.

An official at Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) told PTI 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. Serious incidents and accidents are referred to the AAIB for further investigation.

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