“I thought we were going to crash,” passenger David Persson told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper.
Passengers on the flight, operated by Gothenburg-based City Airlines, were flying toward Umeå in northern Sweden at an altitude of 11,000 metres when the plane experienced a sudden loss of cabin pressure.
Pilots reacted quickly, putting the plane into a dive which brought it down to an altitude of 3,000 metres in 2.5 minutes.
“We notices the oxygen masks were deployed and then we fell straight down,” Persson told the newspaper.
The steep dive caused panic among the plane’s 14 passengers, some of whom suffered from ruptured eardrums and bloody noses.
“It was incredibly unpleasant. My friend sat beside me and just cried,” passenger Anna-Maria Roubert told Sveriges Television (SVT).
While the exact cause of the loss of pressure remains under investigation, a spokesperson for City Airlines told the TT news agency that a likely explanation may have been an error in pressure regulation equipment aboard the Embraer 145 jet.
The plane, which can carry up to 49 passengers and had a crew of four on board at the time of the incident, landed safely at Umeå’s airport, where it was met by emergency crews.
“I’m never going to fly again,” passenger Matilda Bertilsson told the Expressen newspaper.