A Spicejet flight from Goa to Ahmedabad made an emergency landing in Mumbai on Monday to offload a 23-year-old state-level swimming champion who fell sick in the aircraft.
Mohit Maradia spent part of the flight lying next to the washroom.
Allegedly feeling suffocated because of a non-functioning air conditioner, the 23-year-old owner of a steel company vomited twice and nearly fainted. He was given an oxygen mask.
When the plane landed at Mumbai airport, three of Maradia’s friends and a British lady on a wheelchair also opted to get off the plane.
“Maradia is still recuperating under the close observation,” said Ajay Mittal, a co-passenger and friend.
Doctors said that poor air circulation in the aircraft caused Maradia to inhale too much carbon dioxide, causing the nausea.
Maradia has no history of respiratory ailments. “He is a state-level swimming champion. That explains how the bad the situation was on that flight,” said Sahil Patel, another passenger.
Spicejet has ordered an internal probe on why one of the aircraft’s two air-conditioning units was not working. “One air-conditioning unit is sufficient to cool the aircraft. But we understand from customer feedback that it was not comfortable, probably due to humidity and ambient temperature in Goa,” a spokesperson said.
According to passengers on board the Bangalore-Goa-Ahmedabad flight, the problem started soon after the flight took off from Bangalore. “The aircraft was stuffy when we boarded at Goa. Passengers from Bangalore were also complaining,” said Sahil Patel, who was on the flight.
Passengers also alleged that the crew refused to do anything about it.