Home Aviation Safety Korean Air flight diverted after pressurization fault, 13 hospitalized
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Korean Air flight diverted after pressurization fault, 13 hospitalized

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Korean Air Boeing 737 MAX 8. (Photo: N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Korean Air flight bound for Taichung, Taiwan, made an emergency landing in Incheon, South Korea, on June 22 after detecting a fault in the aircraft’s pressurization system.

The incident resulted in 13 passengers being taken to the hospital, according to media reports.

Flight KE-189, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 with tail number HL8352, departed Incheon International Airport at 4:45 PM local time with 125 passengers on board.

Approximately 50 minutes into the flight, a warning indicated a pressurization system fault, prompting the crew to initiate emergency procedures.

Flight tracking data from FlightRadar24 shows the aircraft descended about 26,900 feet in roughly 15 minutes.

Passengers reported experiencing hyperventilation and ear pain during the rapid descent.

“We are fully cooperating with all relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident,” a Korean Air spokesperson told Business Insider.

The airline confirmed that 17 passengers were evaluated at medical facilities and discharged without severe injuries.

The flight circled back to Incheon, landing at around 7:40 PM, about three hours after takeoff.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation reported that 15 passengers complained of hyperventilation or eardrum pain upon landing.

The flight resumed on June 23 with a different aircraft, arriving at Taichung International Airport at 12:24 PM local time, approximately 19 hours after the initial scheduled departure.

Korean Air stated that the airline is investigating the exact cause of the diversion and plans to conduct maintenance on the affected aircraft after inspection.

Written by
Dirk Andrei Salcedo

An aviation enthusiast turned creator of the top aviation news portal in the Philippines, Dirk has a deep passion for everything that flies. When he's not keeping his finger on the pulse of the industry, he also volunteers with a major humanitarian organization, impacting people on the ground and in the sky.

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