Terror as AirAsia flight turns back to Australia

Terror as AirAsia flight turns back to Australia

Sydney: An AirAsia flight from Australia to Indonesia was forced to turn back to Perth after losing cabin pressure, with passengers Monday recounting their terror as oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling.

Air Asia said the plane suffered a "technical issue" with Australian media reporting that the aircraft had to quickly drop from 32,000 feet (9,753 meters) to 10,000 feet 25 minutes after take-off.

Video circulating online shows distressed passengers wearing oxygen  masks with an alarm blaring and AirAsia staff calling for people to assume the brace position.

"I picked up my phone and sent a text message to my family, just hoping that they would get it," one tearful passenger named Leah told Channel Nine television. "It was horrible."

Another holidaymaker said not knowing what was going on heightened fears.

"We didn't know what was happening because all the voice recordings on the plane where in every language but English," she said.

"The safety of passengers and crew is our priority," the budget airline said in a statement.