Thirty-six passengers suffered from nose and ear bleed injuries, as well as headaches after the pilots failed to switch on the plane's cabin pressure, Lalit Gupta, deputy director general at India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation told The Hindustan Times.
"During climb, the crew forgot to select bleed switch due to which cabin pressurisation could not be maintained".
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in New Delhi confirmed the incident in a statement, saying that the flight from Mumbai to Jaipur had to return to Jaipur, where the cockpit crew were immediately taken off duty pending further investigation.
One passenger said the flight was on the runway since 20 minutes without any ventilation and total suffocation, and "don't know if will make it".
Oxygen masks were deployed. The flight commenced from Mumbai at 5.50 AM but had to return to the city after an hour and had an emergency landing.
Because of this, aircraft are pressurised to simulate a lower altitude inside the cabin.
First aid, the statement added, was provided to those who complained of ear pain and nose bleeding.
Under the law, airlines are liable to pay compensation in case a passenger gets injured while travelling with them.
The official said the DGCA would look into the incident first and then a decision would be taken on whether the matter should be referred to the AAIB.
According to media reports several passengers suffered nose bleed and headaches when the cabin crew forgot to pressurise cabin during take-off. "I told my co-passengers that I am bleeding and waved to the air hostess, but she told me to remain seated and that all is normal", Kala said. "The crew members panicked more than the passengers", he claimed.
According to a tweet on ANI, the plane had to be turned back to Mumbai mid-air after take off.
The passenger had also allegedly threatened to "share" the video of the flight. Mr Sharma said, "I was sitting on an aisle seat when suddenly air pressure in the cabin dropped and oxygen masks came down".