A British man’s oxygen mask failed to drop during a plane’s 30,000-ft dive to an emergency landing, he claims.
John Hatfield had to frantically rip down a metal panel to access his safety mask when the Jet2 plane he was travelling on was forced to land 35 minutes into the flight.
The 33-year-old was on a flight from Ibiza to Leeds Bradford with his girlfriend when the ‘minor fault’ caused the plane to be diverted to Barcelona.
Fear factor: The 33-year-old (right) was on a flight from Ibiza to Leeds Bradford when the ‘minor fault’ caused the plane to be diverted and his oxygen mask failed to drop (left)
After an announcement from the pilot, all of the cabin’s oxygen masks dropped down apart from the ones belonging to John, his girlfriend and a man’s next to them which were lodged in the panel.
Mr Hatfield, from Middlesbrough, said: ‘The announcement just came on and the pilot said “prepare for emergency descent”.
‘It took a couple of seconds to register what was going on – and then everyone’s masks came down apart from the one on our row.
‘My girlfriend was really upset and crying. We were calling for the flight attendants and pressing the button for attention – but they had already sat down and put their own masks on.
‘I saw the panel was a little open, so I pulled at it to try and get the masks down.
‘Obviously in that situation you don’t know what to do – you don’t know if you should be pulling at the equipment.
Another passenger on the same flight took this photo when the rest of the oxygen masks dropped down
He added: ‘Eventually we managed to get the masks on – but it was quite terrifying. Luckily it was me, but I hate to think what could have happened if it was a child or an old person who could not reach or was not strong enough to pull it open.’
John was travelling home from a holiday in Ibiza when the incident took place on Sunday. He said that the flight had been incredibly hot, but as they reached 10,000-ft the air conditioning failed and the temperature had become unbearable.
The physiotherapist said: ‘I was quite upset that Jet2 have not admitted the safety issues – it was really serious that the masks didn’t come down.
‘I completely understand that planes do need to make emergency landings, it is one of those things, but the safety breaches were just unacceptable and we were not prepared for the situation at all. I just want Jet2 to admit responsibility and I want them to incorporate better safety instructions.’
A spokesperson for Jet2 said the emergency landing was a result of a ‘minor technical issue
A spokesperson for Jet2 said the emergency landing was a result of a ‘minor technical issue.
They said: ‘On Sunday 16th July, flight LS264 from Ibiza to Leeds Bradford diverted to Barcelona due to a minor technical issue.
‘We are aware of some sensationalist reporting regarding this divert so we would like to point out that our highly-trained crew followed procedure and made a controlled descent before landing safely.
‘All customers were flown to Leeds Bradford on a replacement aircraft. We would like to apologise to customers who were affected, however their safety and well-being will always be our number one priority.’
Elsewhere on the same flight, a mum sent a panicked text to her husband.
Nickola Tye from Sheffield said that when the captain started shouting on the speaker system about an emergency descent ‘all hell broke loose’, and thinking the plane was going to ground she messaged her husband saying, ‘If anything happens, I loved you’.
It was reported many were too scared to board another flight.