Passengers' ears bleed as depressurised plane plummets

Passengers on board a flight from Ireland to Croatia bled from their ears when the plane became depressurised. 

The Ryanair flight took off in Dublin on Friday (local time), but had to make an emergency landing in Germany after a near-disaster in mid-air.

The cabin began losing pressure, causing the temperature to drop and oxygen masks to fall from the ceiling. Passengers then endured a terrifying free-fall as the plane rapidly descended from its cruising altitude.

Bosnian passenger Miomir Todorovic posted to Facebook that the plane dropped from 11,000m to 2800m over a short period of time - falling 3000m in less than a minute.

"Afterwards, descent was not that steep, but my ears were [hurting] so much," he wrote.

Another passenger, Minerva Galvan, called the experience "the worst moments" of her life.

"You are in the air and one moment after you are just falling in the sky, your ears burn, there is no air and your mouth taste[s] like iron."

She also posted a photo showing a fellow passenger's oxygen mask covered in blood.

The plane made an emergency landing in Frankfurt, and 33 passengers received medical attention.

"I saw one woman carried out on the stretchers," Mr Todorovic wrote after the landing.

"Many people, including me, were complaining about ear pain. Some people reported bleeding from ears."

Passenger Sarah McGarry told The Irish Times that her eardrum burst when the plane dropped, but that she didn't have time to go to the hospital before the rescheduled flight to Croatia.

Several passengers complained that Ryanair did not provide enough food and accommodation after the emergency landing.

One claimed that the 189 people stranded at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport were given 100 McDonald's cheeseburgers among them, while another said that they had to sleep on the floor of a military base overnight.

In a statement, Ryanair acknowledged that there was a shortage of available accommodation and apologised for the inconvenience.