Air accident investigation in Frankfurt
German air investigators have commended an enquiry into a sudden pressure loss that happened during a Ryanair flight travelling from Dublin to Croatia on Friday 13th July 2018. When the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Frankfurt, Germany, this resulted in some passengers being hospitalised.
The Irish Air Accident Investigation unit (AAIU) has been informed of the inquiry by The German authorities. The AAIU will appoint a representative to assist the German authorities upon the receipt of a formal notice which was due on Monday 16th July 2018.
It has been reported that during the flight, passengers reported a loss of cabin presssure, with oxygen masks descending and some passengers experiencing headaches, nausea as well as earaches. 33 passengers were taken to hospital according to Frankfurt police authorities. A flight radar tracking system log showed that approximately 80 minutes into the flight the plane descended from 37,000 to 10,000 feet over a seven minute period. Aircrafts usually fly at an altitude of above 30,000 feet, climbing or descending to get there at a rate of about 2,000 feet per minute. At 30,000 feet, the outside air pressure is about a third of that at sea level, causing gases to expand. For comfort and safety reasons, aircraft cabins are pressurised to an altitude of approximately 5,000-8,000 feet (which is lower than sea level pressure). As this Ryanair flight incident resulted from a loss of cabin pressure, this would mean that the air within the ear, which would also have been at a pressure of 5,000-8,000 feet would try to escape. Pressure difference at a high altitude may result in ‘barotrauma’, which is the rupturing of the eardrum and small blood vessels, causing bleeding and in some cases hearing loss.
Reports from German police stated that out of 189 passengers on board the plane, 33 were hospitalised, some of which were suffering from bleeding in their ears. German police are currently in the process of securing the flight data recorder and voice recorder and would also be interviewing both passengers and crew members.
One passenger on board gave the following statement:
“One minute we were sitting on the plane, and the next minute, there was intense pain.”
She went on to describe the treatment of passengers as ‘awful’ and that at the airport after disembarking the plane, passengers were ‘left to their own devices.’ with stranded passengers being given food vouchers several hours after the plane landed. Ryanair claimed that although it had agreed to pay for hotels for affected passengers, there was a ‘shortage of available accommodation’, and sincerely apologised for any inconvenience caused
“No one from Ryanair was there – it was just the airport authorities taking care of people who were bleeding and no one else.”
A further statement issued on Monday 16th July from Ryanair said:
“ Ryanair has contacted all customers from the flight to offer them any additional support they need. 165 customers flew onward to Zadar on Saturday morning on a replacement aircraft and have received a full refund and a free flight voucher. We are fully assisting the German authorities with their investigation and until this process has been completed we will not be making any further comment.”
It is now understood that the affected Ryanair plane has returned to service.
Passengers injured during the emergency landing of Ryanair Flight FR7312 continue to come forward to seek redress for their injuries. If you have been affected by this accident you could contact us or request a call by sending us an email, otherwise you could use our Free line on 1800 844 104.
- Irish Times – 16/07/2018 – Ryanair accused of downplaying emergency landing which injured dozens
- Independent – 16/07/2018 – German Air Accident investigators begin probe after Ryanair emergency landing in Frankfurt
- Daily Mail – 18/07/2018 – Revealed: Why Ryanair passengers were bleeding from the ears after an emergency landing
Coleman Legal Partners have been instructed by a number of people in this case and if you have been similarly affected by this incident, please contact Johanna Ryan on 015313800 or via email at [email protected]