Broken aircon on Qatar Airways flight has passengers melting

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2024

Scuffle breaks out between passengers and crew as tempers rise in stifling heat

Passengers on a Qatar Airways flight heading to Doha on Monday nearly suffocated after the plane’s air-conditioning system stopped working while it was waiting to take off.

Among the passengers on flight QR204 were 49 members of Thailand’s national Muay Thai team, staffers and reporters who were returning home from Athens after participating in the IFMA Senior World Championships 2024.

The tournament was held from May 31 to June 10 at Dimitris Tofalos National Indoor Sports Hall in Patras, Greece.

After being stuck in the stifling heat for three hours without any notification or explanation from the airline, the captain eventually decided to let passengers off the plane, a source said.

Some passengers reportedly suffered a nosebleed, while others relied on oxygen masks to help with breathing, the source added.

A physical confrontation also nearly broke out between passengers and flight crew during the incident.

Smoke was seen emitting from the aircraft’s rear while it was waiting to take off, prompting airport officials to put fire trucks on standby in case of fire.

The source said passengers had not been given any information on the situation by the airline or crew.

Muay Thai athlete Thananchai Sitsongpeenong told reporters that he only spotted the smoke after he got off the plane.

“I consider myself lucky to have survived this,” he said, adding that he and other passengers were practically melting in the sauna-like heat on board.