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Frontier Passengers Say Oxygen Masks Had Problems

DENVER (CBS4)- Some Frontier Airlines passengers said they were left without oxygen masks during an in-flight emergency last month.

Frontier flight 787 left Denver International Airport for Las Vegas Oct. 14 and something went wrong over the mountains near Leadville.

The plane experienced a computer malfunction that resulted in a problem with pressurization. When the plane dropped below a certain pressure altitude the oxygen masks automatically deployed. But some passengers said they were left without them.

Kevin McClung described his experience on the Airbus 319.

"All the masks did not deploy. From the picture I have taken there were two rows in front of me that did not have masks," said McClung. "There wasn't much I could do because my mask and my neighbor's mask wasn't working, my wife's mask was working."

Video from inside the plane shows a man trying to get more air as the temperature inside the plane heated up.

Bruce Christian, a professor of aviation at Metropolitan State College of Denver said if you don't have a mask, you can have problems.

"You get hypoxia, which is lack of oxygen and that's basically loss of faculties," said Christian.

The plane descended from 36,000 to 16,500 feet as it returned to DIA.

Frontier spokesman Peter Kowalchuck said all the masks dropped properly and dispensed oxygen.

(credit: CBS)

"If all the masks dropped the only way there could be unused masks or people without masks is because somebody used the wrong masks and that's what we believe that's what happened," said Kowalchuck.

Frontier insists no one was ever in danger and that all masks dropped and oxygen did flow. The Federal Aviation Administration has requested some of the photos taken by passengers for their investigation.

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