Cabin Depressurization Causes Release of Oxygen Masks on Qan

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An incident on a Qantas domestic flight to Melbourne Tuesday... the plane suddenly dropped 26,000 feet mid-air. The sudden drop in pressure inside the cabin caused the oxygen masks to release. This is the latest in a series of mishaps on Australia's national carrier.

A Qantas airplane encountered a mechanical fault mid-flight on Tuesday, forcing pilots to rapidly descend after the cabin depressurized.

Masks were released from above the passengers as the Boeing 737 airliner descended to 10,000 feet.

The actual cause is not yet known, but a possible air-conditioning fault could have been the reason, according to a Qantas spokesperson.

The incident caused concern among the 99 passengers aboard the Melbourne-bound flight.

[Julie Chau, Passenger]:
"It was like, this is like a movie scene or something, yeah and I thought we were really unsafe. I didn't know what was happening."

[Liza Vallely, Passenger]:
There was a bang and there was a bit of a really muffled sound. Next thing we know, turbulence and the air masks dropped down and no one knew whether to grab them or whether it was a mistake and then we just hear this sort of pre-recorded voice saying "Emergency, emergency, please sit in the closest vacant seat and fasten your seat belts."

No one was injured and the plane landed safely at Melbourne Airport.

In November last year, Qantas grounded its entire A380 fleet after a Rolls-Royce engine exploded on a flight shortly after taking off from Singapore.