Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy canceled a campaign event on Monday after the plane he was traveling in was depressurized and lost oxygen mid-air, according to a press release from his campaign.
Ramaswamy, a multimillionaire whose net worth exceeds $600 million according to Forbes, often flies on private jets to his campaign appearances, according to NBC. On Monday, while flying to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, for a town hall appearance, Ramaswamy’s plane “depressurized,” meaning that its cabin lost the amount of oxygen required for human beings to remain conscious while airborne, according to a press release issued by his campaign and posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Due to an unexpected cabin depressurization issue in his plane, Vivek Ramaswamy was forced to return to campaign headquarters this morning,” the press release stated. While the release was issued in Columbus, Ohio, where Ramaswamy lives, it was unclear how far the plane had traveled, or where it had departed from — with Ramaswamy’s campaign headquarters being in Birmingham, Alabama, per the Federal Election Commission.
The press release also stated that Ramaswamy would appear at the town hall via videoconference.
Plane depressurization is a dangerous occurrence on flights that, if affecting pilots, may lead to the aircraft crashing. Without pressurization, “[t]he ability to take corrective and protective action is lost in 20 to 30 minutes at 18,000 feet and 5 to 12 minutes at 20,000 feet, followed soon thereafter by unconsciousness,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Medical Facts for Pilots handbook.
When a commercial aircraft’s cabin depressurizes, oxygen masks are usually dispensed from panels that passengers are required to place over their noses and mouths. If not, passengers would “fall asleep and eventually die due to lack of oxygen,” according to Randy Padfield, the chief operating officer of Aviation International News, speaking with ABC.
Ramaswamy’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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