While cruising at 39,000 feet close to the Syrian/Turkish border about 125 nautical miles from the Turkish city of Diyarbakir at around 03:00 Sunday morning, the aircraft suddenly lost cabin pressurization.
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The overhead oxygen masks were deployed while the crew performed an emergency descent, levelling off at 14,000 feet. This is a safe altitude at which passengers and crew can breathe normally.
No one was injured in the incident with all passengers taken to a nearby hotel for the remainder of the day. This was until another Oman Air aircraft could be sent so that they could continue on their journey to Muscat.
According to a passenger from the Indian state of Kerala, there was smoke in the cabin and the crew aboard the aircraft were running around with fire extinguishers. When being interviewed by Kerala new outlet Onmanorama, the unnamed passenger is quoted as saying:
“Most of the passengers were sleeping at that time. The flight nose-dived for a few seconds. The cabin crew were running around with fire extinguishers.”
Following the incident, the Oman Air released a press statement on its social media accounts. The airline apologized for the inconvenience, saying the safety of their guests and crew is their number one priority.
Of all the places to get diverted to, Diyarbakır Airport has to be one of the strangest. Located on the banks of the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey, Diyarbakır Airport is a joint military/public airport and is home to the 8th Air Wing of the 2nd Air Force Command of the Turkish Air Force.
The airport has very little commercial traffic other than domestic flights operated by regional airlines. SunExpress Deutschland operates flights to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Hannover.
Oman Air is the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, a nation on the Arabian peninsula with a population of around five million. Based at Muscat International Airport (MCT), Oman Air is a full-service carrier that operates both domestic and international passenger flights.
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