'Mayday, mayday': Ryanair pilot makes emergency landing, three people hospitalisedStock photo: PA

Three people are in hospital and ten others injured after a Ryanair flight had to make an emergency landing following a cabin pressure alert.

The plane was heading to East Midlands Airport from Bergamo in Italy when it had to divert to Frankfurt in Germany after a pressurisation warning.

The pilot descended from 31,000ft to 10,000ft as recommended and, according to one passenger, he could be heard saying "mayday, mayday" as the plane went down.

Jacqueline Frater, who was travelling with her husband Melvin, was one of the 134 passengers on board. She told the BBC: "You could see the whites of the eyes of the people next to you. People were panicking but they weren't screaming or shouting.

"You overheard the captain saying 'mayday, mayday,' and he was saying it rapidly as we were going down. I thought my number was up."

Mr Frater added: "I don't know how long we were actually falling but you could tell it was rapidly because of the pressure in our ears.

"Then the children and babies started crying with the pain."

The German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation said three people were taken to hospital but were not seriously injured, and 10 people suffered minor injuries but did not need hospital treatment.

The bureau added that a full investigation into the incident could take up to a year.

Ryanair has apologised to passengers for the incident and subsequent delays, and passengers later continued their journey on another plane.

  • Baggage restrictions

    No, no, we don't really need to take anything with us on our holiday, honestly. We may be going to Norway for two weeks in January, but a toothbrush, t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops will do us just fine. The book, nappies, wet wipes and baby food ? No problem, they'll slip right into the one bag too, that's fine, don't need them at all, yes stick them in the overhead locker miles away from my seat, too. Marvellous.

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  • No seat pocket

    Remember in the old days when the seat in front of you had a pocket you could stow your bits and pieces, magazines, bottle of water etc, instead of having to strew them all over the floor? They might be saving space and weight, but when your three-year-old starts projectile vomiting and the seat belt sign's on, suddenly a seat pocket full of sick bags makes a lot of sense. Ah, sweet revenge...

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  • Lousy legroom

    Jeez, there's nothing like 29" legroom pitch and a non-reclining seat back to force you to practice your yoga moves. Like human origami, we fold our limbs into unnatural shapes and wonder why we can't feel our feet by the end of the flight. And we're relatively normal! What it's like for a 6ft 7" man, or a 7 month pregnant woman with a 20 month old on her 'lap' doesn't bear thinking about...

    Source: Alamy
  • Surly service

    OK, when you're paying more for your beer than your air fare, you can't expect silver service, but would a smile hurt? We feel for the cabin crew dealing with leery stag weekenders and bitter businessmen whose companies won't cough up for a proper airline, but it would be nice to be treated slightly more like a human being, less like a walking wallet from whom to extract as much cash as possible in a two hour period. Scratch card, perfume, magazine, £2.50 bottle of water, anyone?

    Source: Getty