MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Saturday, June 17, ordered an investigation into a viral post on Friday about a commotion inside a grounded Cebu Pacific plane that had passengers fanning and complaining of heat.
"Please be informed that the Department of Transportation (DOTr), through its Undersecretary for Aviation Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo, has already instructed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to look into this and act accordingly," the DOTr said in a statement on Saturday.
Videos were posted Friday on Facebook by a passenger of a Cebu-bound flight that showed panic inside the plane after a woman passed out from the heat. Voices could be heard from the video saying, "Hihintayin niyo pa bang may mamatay (Are you going to wait for someone to die first)?"
The Facebook post said: "They didn't even do anything to deplane us until the woman (passed) out."
"Should DOTr-CAB find out that Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 575 went beyond the prescribed 2-hour period to deplane its passengers due to long tarmac delays, Cebu Pacific shall be held liable for the penalty prescribed under the regulation," the DOTr said.
In the video, Cebu Pacific staff could be heard calling for a doctor on board to help. A man could also be heard screaming angrily while the staff was calling for a doctor. Other passengers were heard requesting to be deplaned because they were "still on the ground."
"Babies are crying, old people are complaining and there's a woman (who was) suffocated and now she has oxygen on because she can't breathe. We've been here for more than an hour inside the plane. Freaking damn hot!" said the passenger on Facebook.
DOTr said that the CAB has ordered Cebu Pacific Air to submit an incident report within one hour of notice.
"Further, if found to have violated the regulation, the pilot shall likewise be held liable as he has the obligation to order the deplaning. CAB shall endorse the case of the pilot to CAAP for appropriate action, since the latter exercises jurisdiction over airmen," DOTr said. – Rappler.com