Almost Everyone In A Photo Of Southwest's Emergency Landing Wore Their Oxygen Mask Wrong

Shults descended the airplane to an altitude of 10,000 feet shortly after, according to flight-tracking data from FlightRadar24.com, and landed the aircraft about 12 minutes after an emergency was declared.

According to a chart from AOPA on "time of useful consciousness," the passengers would have had about 30 seconds to get their masks on after the window blew open.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

That flow of oxygen is crucial in emergencies, as passengers who are passed out won't be able to evacuate. And if there's any kind of fire or smoke condition, an unconscious neighbor slumped in an aisle could mean the difference between life and death. That's why masks are designed to deploy immediately.

Southwest public-announcement flashcards posted on Quizlet indicate passengers get these instructions before every takeoff:

"If needed, four oxygen masks will drop from the compartment overhead. To activate the flow of oxygen, pull down on the mask until the plastic tubing is fully extended. Place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally.

"Secure the mask with the elastic strap. Although oxygen will be flowing, the plastic bag may not inflate. Continue wearing the mask until otherwise notified by a crew member. If you are traveling with children or anyone needing special assistance, put on your mask first."

An investigation into the incident by the National Transportation Safety Board is underway.

In response to Business Insider questions about Southwest's use of oxygen masks on Flight 1380, a company representative said via email: "We aren't ready to engage that level of detail at this time as we are focused on the immediate needs of the NTSB investigation."

Though concerns about flying and airplane safety permeate popular culture, it's much safer to travel by plane than by car.

The person who died on the Southwest flight on Tuesday was the first fatality in a US passenger airline accident in over nine years. In that time, there were almost 100 million US flights that carried billions of people, according to Bloomberg.

This story was updated with a response from Southwest Airlines.

Read the original article on Business Insider. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2018.

Read next on Business Insider: What really happens when oxygen masks drop on an airplane

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