A passenger jet bound for South Korea’s southeastern port city of Busan had to return to Cebu soon after takeoff on Sunday due to safety concerns, company officials said.
The LJ038 flight of Jin Air Co. carrying 163 passengers left Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 1 a.m. local time. Its return was decided about 20-30 minutes after its takeoff as some “strange noise” was heard from the front door area, according to officials.
Jin Air is a low-cost carrier owned by South Korea’s top flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co.
The plane was flying at an altitude of about 10,000 feet when the return decision was made. Some passengers complained about headaches and pain in their ears, but no serious injuries were reported.
A Jin Air official said that the strange sound might have been caused by the front door not being completely closed.
“We presume that the windy sound came from a gap in the door, which could have led to a drop in cabin pressure. Some passengers might have complained about inconvenience because of it,” he said.
All passengers on board have been moved to a local hotel. Company officials said that none have been taken to a hospital for treatment. South Korea’s transportation ministry in charge of airplane safety said that it will fully investigate the incident when the plane returns from Cebu. (Yonhap)