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Ear pain, nose bleeds: Passengers on Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines flights face air pressure issue

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A Korean Air Boeing 737 Max 8 heading to Taiwan had to return to Seoul's Incheon airport, following a sudden depressurization approximately 50 minutes after the flight's departure on Tuesday. 19 of 133 passengers were hospitalized due to ear pain and nosebleeds. However, no one was seriously injured.

The airline and the transport ministry are currently investigating the cause of the incident. Meanwhile, the ministry, as a precautionary measure has instructed South Korea's 11 airlines to inspect the pressurization systems in all 400 of their aircraft.

Additionally, in a separate incident, Malaysia Airlines carrying 164 passengers and 12 crew members reported that its flights MH780, heading to Bangkok had to return back to Kuala Lumpur after the Airbus A-330 faced a "pressurization issue."

An investigation into the incident is currently underway.

The pilots initiated an emergency descent, despite the aircraft not reaching the altitude of 8,000 feet, and oxygen masks were not deployed.

The 737 Max has an infamous history, with two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 in Indonesia and Ethiopia, respectively, resulting in the deaths of 346 people. These incidents led to the FAA and other regulators grounding the aircraft worldwide for more than a year and a half.

Earlier this year, a panel blew out of a 737 Max during an Alaska Airlines flight, although no serious injuries were reported in that incident.
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