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13 hospitalized as Korean Air flight drops 26,900 feet in 15 minutes

By: The Strait Times/Asia Network June 24,2024 - 04:55 PM

13 hospitalized as Korean Air flight drops 26,900 feet in 15 minutes

About 50 minutes after departure, there was a warning about a fault in the pressurisation system of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM GARYGARYOCP/TIKTOK

Passengers on Korean Airlines Flight KE189 arrived safely in Taichung, Taiwan, on June 23 after it was diverted the day before due to a fault, which led to 13 people being taken to the hospital, according to media reports.

The flight had departed from Incheon International Airport with 125 passengers at around 4:45 pm local time on June 22.

About 50 minutes after departure, there was a warning about a fault in the pressurization system of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

READ: Korean Air overshoots Mactan Cebu airport runway, no casualties reported

An aircraft pressurization system regulates the pressure level inside the aircraft.

Flight tracking website Flightradar24’s data shows the plane dropped about 26,900 ft in about 15 minutes.

READ: Korean Air prexy apologizes over plane incident in Cebu

The flight circled back to Incheon International Airport at around 7:40 pm, about three hours after it had taken off.

Investigation

According to Korea JoongAng Daily, citing the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation, 15 passengers said they suffered from hyperventilation or pain in their eardrums, while 13 were taken to hospital after landing.

READ: Singapore Airlines flight hit by severe turbulence: 1 dead, 30 injured

No major injuries were reported, it added.

The flight resumed on the morning of June 23 with a different aircraft, about 19 hours after the initial departure schedule, the daily reported, citing Korean Air.

READ: Plane with 3 aboard lands without landing gear after burning off fuel

The Korean Air spokesperson was reported as saying that the airline is currently investigating the exact cause of the diversion, and plans to put the aircraft under maintenance after an inspection.

Frightened

Some passengers, who arrived at 12:24 pm local time at Taichung International Airport, said they were frightened and that they would not take a flight for a while, Taipei Times reported.

A passenger, known only as Mr Tseng, said children on board were crying when oxygen masks were released, and he was afraid that the plane might hit the ground.

Another passenger, who was identified only as Ms Hsu, said she felt something was amiss as the aircraft seemed to be hovering in the air and the flight attendants remained in their seats.

She said she and her daughters put on oxygen masks when the plane began to fall, and she had an earache and headache while her daughters were crying.

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TAGS: hospitalized, Korean Air

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