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Korean Air Plane Drops 26,900 Feet Mid-Flight, Passengers Forced To Use Oxygen Masks


Korean Air Plane Drops 26,900 Feet Mid-Flight, Passengers Forced To Use Oxygen Masks

The flight resumed the next morning with a different aircraft

A Korean Air plane was forced to U-turn and make an emergency landing after dropping more than 25,000 feet due to a fault in the aircraft’s pressurization system. According to the Independent, flight KE189 departed Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) on June 22, 2024, at about 16:45 local time, headed for Taichung International Airport (RMQ) in Taiwan.

However, 50 minutes into its journey, the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane started descending sharply and fell about 26,900 feet in around 15 minutes. According to FL360aero, the message ”pressure system (pressure control function of the aircraft) abnormality” was displayed while the aircraft was flying over Jeju Island.

As a result, several passengers experienced hyperventilation and ear pain, prompting oxygen masks to be released inside the cabin of the plane. One passenger told The Taipei Times that children on the flight were crying when oxygen masks were deployed during the flight’s plunge.

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

Upon landing in Taichung, Taiwan, 17 people were evaluated at medical facilities and were later discharged without severe injuries.

Korean Air apologised to ”all affected by this incident”, and said, ”We are fully cooperating with all relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. We have provided comprehensive support to affected passengers, including accommodation, meals, and transportation arrangements.’

The flight resumed on the morning of June 23 with a different aircraft, about 19 hours after the initial departure schedule. passengers, who arrived at Taichung International Airport, said they were frightened and that they would not take a flight for a while, Taipei Times reported.

A Korean Air spokesperson said the airline is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the pressurisation system malfunction, intending to address any maintenance issues before returning the aircraft to service.

Boeing, the plane that suffered a malfunction during the flight, has been under massive pressure following a string of incidents involving their planes. 

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