What can be worse than being in a medical emergency midair? Having to endure excruciating pain for the rest of the flight due to unavailability of pain medication and proper first aid kit. Precisely the ordeal that Air India passenger Charu Tomar allegedly went through while aboard an international flight in September this year.

Sharing details of the incident on X, she writes, "Air India delivered a distressing experience that took a harrowing turn when a flight attendant spilled hot water on my leg. The crew initially retreated from the scene. Incident left me with physical trauma, emotionally shattered rendering me bedridden."

Tagging Air India, Ministry of Aviation and Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the victim alleges that at around 5 am the flight attendant spilled hot water on the right leg, which left her screaming in excruciating pain. "To my shock, the crew members initially ran away from the situation."

She further writes, "Crew removed my shoes and socks without checking if it would cause further harm. My pleas for them to cut my pants with scissors and provide immediate cooling were met with a slow response and inadequate efforts, including the use of minimal ice without proper care or expertise."

Sharing the picture of the incident, the victim also says that the attendant's lack of training and professionalism only added to the distress and it was only after some time that a physician on the plane offered assistance. "She diagnosed my injury as a second degree burn and attempted to provide care. However, the flight lacked essential medical supplies and the treatment was far from ideal. I endured severe pain for nearly two hours in flight with no pain medication or proper first aid kit available."

The incident took place on an approximately 16-hour long Air India flight on September 20, 2023 while the passenger was traveling from New Delhi to SFO on flight AI 173. The victim was aboard the flight with her 4-year-old son and 83-year-old mother in law called the experience, "nothing short of a nightmare."

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After the landing

The long thread continues, "As the flight approached its destination, the crew members seemed more interested in preparing for landing than in my ongoing distress. I was left to tend to my injured leg on my own which was an utterly ineffective solution. The pain was relentless and I continued to cry/suffer." Upon landing, the victim says that though the paramedic team evacuated her from the plane, her elderly mother-in-law and young son were not taken care of and no assistance was provided to contact her family. "The crew did not attend to my family members, leaving them alone and unaware of what was happening. It was only with the help of a kind fellow passenger that my mother-in-law was able to contact my brother."

Ending the note on how the experience has been not only physically traumatic but also emotionally devastating, she stressed upon her utter disappointment in Air India. "My doctor has recommended that I seek the assistance of psychologists or counselors, who can provide invaluable support in helping myself, my children and mother-in-law cope with the trauma and fear we are experiencing."

What Air India says?

While a formal statement or response on the incident has not been issued by Air India, but responding to the social media complaint, it says, "Dear Ms. Tomar, we deeply regret to learn of your experience and hope that you are doing better. We want to emphasize that our utmost priority is to provide you with the necessary assistance. Please DM us the details for us to look into it." Meanwhile, a couple of netizens came forward to show support to the victim asking that the airline be sued.