Caribbean Airlines cabin pressure failure still under probe

(Jamaica Observer) It was still not clear up to last night why the cabin pressure failed Sunday on a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flight, en route to Barbados from Jamaica, with 154 passengers on Sunday.

CAL spokeswoman Laura Asbjornsen told the Observer yesterday that ground checks were done by the airline’s engineers when the plane landed, but no significant findings were observed.

She explained further that the aircraft was later flown non-revenue or “unpressurised” to Piarco International Airport in Trinidad for further maintenance checks.

Asbjornsen promised, however, that there will be a full report of the incident. “We are going through the entire maintenance review,” she said.

Flight 455 was said to be on approach to the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados when an intermittent cabin altitude warning was received.

“There were 154 passengers on-board and the flight crew carried out a rapid cabin de-pressurisation/cabin altitude warning procedure and did a rapid descent,” Asbjornsen said.

She explained further that the cabin pressure stabilised and the aircraft landed safely at the airport without any reported injuries to any of the passengers or crew members.

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) says no investigation will be launched from Jamaica as the incident did not occur in Jamaican airspace.

“The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority does not have jurisdiction over the aircraft because it is a Trinidad-registered aircraft and it was not in Jamaica’s airspace, so no report was made to us,” JCAA director general Colonel Oscar Derby told the Observer.

A traumatised passenger, who is quoted in Monday’s issue of the Barbados Daily Nation newspaper, said there was total despair among the travellers when oxygen masks dropped, followed by a loud bang.

Six weeks ago, the Trinidad-based air carrier assumed control of Air Jamaica.

Under the sale agreement, the Jamaican Government received a 16 per cent stake in Caribbean Airlines.

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