AirAsia Indonesia flight forced to turn back to Perth after 'terrifying' emergency

Passengers described the momentary panic as "terrifying" as they thought they were going to die.

The flight then turned around and returned to Perth, where passengers later boarded another aircraft provided by the low-priced carrier for the flight to Bali, Indonesia.

In terrifying on-board footage, the AirAsia captain was heard asking passengers to stay vigilant.

Passenger Sophie Nicolas said she could tell the situation was "really bad" judging by the cabin crew's reaction.

Malcolm and Janet Canning say they were scared.

As a safety precaution, oxygen masks fell from the cabin ceiling and passengers were told by the crew to get into their designated brace position.

Australian news portal Nine News reported that the flight lost cabin pressure, which led to oxygen masks falling from the cabin.

"The panic was escalated because of the behaviour of staff who were screaming and looked tearful", passenger Clare Askew said.

The Air Asia flight was forced to turn back to Perth Airport.

Oxygen masks immediately dropped.

AirAsia in a statement said flight QZ535 with 145 passengers on board landed safely at the Perth International Airport at 12.40pm local time.

Most passengers got onto the next flight on Sunday with some hesitant to fly.

The airline said engineers are now examining the aircraft, trying to determine what went wrong.

Flight traffic information shows the drop in altitude for the flight. "AirAsia Indonesia apologises for any inconvenience caused", the statement read.

AirAsia said there was a mechanical issue. "Nobody told us what was going on", she said.

The flight was forced to return to Perth too.

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