Southwest Airlines passengers did not know how to put their oxygen masks on correctly, a photo taken onboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 suggests.
The image, which has gone viral on social media, shows the panicked passengers improperly wearing the masks so that only their mouths were covered, despite safety demonstrations specifically instructing that both the nose and mouth be covered in emergency situations, CNBC reported.
Many are still reeling in shock after the incident that resulted in a woman nearly being sucked out of the Dallas bound flight Tuesday when an engine exploded, causing a window to shatter.
The Southwest Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, where the woman was rushed to hospital, but she later died from extensive injuries.
Now a new wave of concern has been ignited as the photo showing the passengers wearing their oxygen masks incorrectly circulates.
The Federal Aviation Administration has stressed the importance of having a basic knowledge of how to use oxygen equipment in flight, which it has described as “the first line of defense against the potentially lethal effects of hypoxia and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
The masks are designed to provide passengers with sufficient oxygen in emergencies up to 40,000 feet in the air, Travel and Leisure reported.
The Southwest Airline’s engine malfunctioned at 32,000 feet.
Plane cabins are pressurized to allow passengers to breath at such high altitudes however, in this instance the malfunctioning engine caused damage to the plane’s window and fuselage, creating a drop in cabin pressure and causing the oxygen masks to be released.
While the public now turns its attentions to how passengers reacted in the critical situation, one passenger, Marty Martinez, admitted he was more concerned about documenting the unfolding chaos than wearing his oxygen mask correctly.
“All I could think about was how can I can I get a message out to loved ones,” he said, per USA Today. “And rather than put on my oxygen mask I reached for my laptop in an effort to buy WiFi as the plane was going down.”
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