Passengers on a Russian commercial flight were terrified when a plane door opened after takeoff, allowing luggage and hats to go flying out of the jet and freezing cold temperatures to enter it. The plane in question was an Antonov An-26, a Soviet-era model launched in 1970 and halted in 1986. One passenger managed to get footage of the shocking incident—here's what it showed.
The An-26 took off from Magan, a remote city in Siberia, just eight miles from Yakutsk, which is considered the coldest city in the world. The temperature was minus 41 degrees when the plane took off en route to Magadan on Russia's Pacific coast.
Terror In the Skies
Not long after takeoff, a rear door flew open, depressurizing the cabin. Hats were swept off passengers' heads, and luggage went flying out of the plane. Sergei Lidrik, 33, captured footage of the incident. "The flight ended quicker than expected — with the wrong result," Lidrik said. "People were shocked at first. … People had their hats blown off."
Passengers seated near the open door had to deal with freezing winds on top of everything else. One man made the mistake of unclicking his seatbelt right before the door blew open, and almost lost his life. "A man sitting at the rear of the plane was nearly blown away. He had just unfastened his seat belt," another passenger said.
The twin-prop plane turned back around to the airport Magan and made an emergency landing. All 25 passengers survived, although it's not clear if there were any injuries.
A report from the incident says, "Fortunately, the 25 people on board, including the crew, were unharmed. The caps off some people's heads flew into the white void." An official investigation has been launched.
What to Do if the Airplane Cabin Becomes Depressurized
If the airplane cabin becomes depressurized, it is important to remain calm and follow the instructions of the flight crew. Here are some things you can do:
Put on your oxygen mask: If the cabin altitude reaches a certain level, oxygen masks will automatically drop from the overhead panel. Put your mask on first before helping others, if necessary. Take deep breaths and try to relax.
Follow the emergency descent procedures: The flight crew will initiate an emergency descent to a lower altitude where the air is breathable. This may involve a steep descent and a lot of noise, but it is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew.
Stay seated: Keep your seatbelt fastened and stay in your seat until the plane has landed and the crew gives the all-clear signal.
Avoid panic: It is natural to feel anxious in an emergency situation, but it is important to remain calm and follow the instructions of the flight crew. Panicking can lead to irrational decision-making and may make the situation worse.
Follow instructions: The flight crew is trained to handle emergency situations and will provide instructions on what to do. It is important to listen carefully and follow their instructions.
If you are able to do so, try to assist those around you who may need help, such as children or elderly passengers. Remember that the crew is trained to handle emergencies and will do everything they can to ensure the safety of all passengers.