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Old 26-10-16, 07:49   #1
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Red Arrow B.A Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Vancouver-Crew/Passengers Rushed to Hospital

British Airways Investigates Mystery 'Illness' Which Struck Down 27 Crew and Passengers Forcing Plane to Make Emergency Landing in Vancouver So They Could be Rushed to Hospital

  • Rescue crews surrounded the plane after it was forced to make an emergency landing
  • The airline says 22 cabin crew members, three pilots and two passengers were taken to hospital
  • BA says it is investigating the cause of the incident, but declined to reveal what symptoms its staff were suffering from
  • Passengers on the flight were told there was a technical fault and crew members were unwell

Daily Mail UK, 26 October 2016

British Airways has launched an investigation into a mystery illness that hit dozens of people, forcing a London'bound flight from San Francisco to divert to Vancouver.

Initial reports suggested that crew, pilots and passengers on board the Airbus A380 suffered from smoke inhalation when they were rushed to hospital by emergency vehicles waiting on the runway.

Someone on the flight claimed the illness was caused by engine fumes leaking into the plane and setting off a safety alarm, forcing the crew declare a medical emergency and the plane to land.

But eight hours after the incident in the early hours of this morning, BA denied that was the problem - saying only that the cause of the mass illness was subject to an internal investigation.

Pictures from Canada show the plane being escorted by emergency services in Vancouver

The airline has said that no other aircraft are affected, and none of the rest of its fleet has been grounded in the wake of the unexplained incident.

The airline said the plane made the unscheduled stop because staff members had been taken unwell.
The airline and health officials have declined to reveal what symptoms the patients were suffering from.

BA said 22 cabin crew members and three pilots were taken to hospital for medical checks as a precaution, and have since been discharged.
A further two passengers were seen by medics, but did not suffer any injuries, BA has confirmed.

Steve Lowy, who was on the flight, said no explanation for the sudden diversion had been given.

A paramedic boards the plane after it landed in Vancouver, as passengers were told a technical fault was to blame for the flight being diverted

The 35-year-old, who was returning from a two day business trip in San Francisco, told MailOnline:

'They said there was a potential technical fault and crew members were feeling unwell.'

Mr Lowy, who was on the top deck of the plane, said it was initially set to land in Calgary, but the size of the aircraft meant it had to divert to Vancouver.
Despite the uncertainty, he said passengers remained calm, stating:

'We were all very British, we were wondering what had happened, and whether they had suffered food poisoning.
'We were very high up in the air and we weren't in control of the situation, it was just a bit weird.

'People wanted to know a bit more information, but I don't think all the crew knew what was going on.
'After they mentioned a fault, people did start coughing a bit, there was a lot of activity.'

He said he did not see any smoke on the plane, or smell burning.
Despite the confusion, Mr Lowy praised the crew for the professional manner they handled the situation.
He said:

'I think the crew did what they could, especially as their colleagues weren't feeling very well. It would be nice to know what actually happened though.'

The Airbus A380 took off around 7pm local time on Monday and landed in Vancouver several hours later.

Passengers on Flight BA 286 from San Francisco to London told how firefighters in full respirators came onto the plane after it was diverted to Vancouver Airport.

Liz Keller, from London, tweeted:

'Passengers on BA286 pretty much totally in the dark about what happened on board or what comes next.
'Not reassuring to see firefighters with respirators walking aisles and only be told the crew was taken ill. And have been told we need to book our own return flights.'

The route taken by the flight after the medical emergency was reported

The jet can hold 469 passengers but BA did not say exactly how many were on board.

Passengers have been put up in hotels and will be rebooked on other flights.

A statement from British Airways said:

'We are sorry for the delay to our customers' flight but the safety and well being of our customers and crew is always our top priority.
'The flight from San Francisco diverted to Vancouver after members of the cabin crew became unwell.
'Our ground team at Vancouver has arranged hotel accommodation for the customers and will book them on alternative flights as soon as possible.'

A company spokesman told MailOnline:

'It was a medical diversion. I'ts still being investigated.’

He said the cause of the emergency has not been determined. He continued: ‘Every report of smoke or fumes is pure speculation.’

BA has confirmed it will be carrying out the investigation itself.
A spokesman said: 'We've not said at any point that the entire crew has been taken ill, we said they have been checked as a precaution and discharged.'

The airport's official Twitter account confirmed that medical staff were on hand to assist patients

Ten patients were rushed to Richmond Hospital, while another 10 went to the Vancouver General Hospital, and another five went to the Delta Hospital.

Laura Kohli, a spokeswoman for Vancouver Coastal Health hospitals, said all those taken to Richmond Hospital and the Vancouver General Hospital had been treated and released. All of these were cabin crew members.

Gavin Wilson, public affairs director for Vancouver Coastal Health, told the BBC that everyone had been discharged from hospital, but added: 'I can't tell you at this point what they were assessed for.'

A letter handed to passengers said:

'I am very sorry for the disruption to your journey today.
'Due to unwell crew in need of medical attention we have had to divert to Vancouver.
'As a result of this diversion the current crews will not be able to operate again today.'

The letter continued: 'We will do everything we can to keep your delay to a minimum. I would like to assure you that your safety is paramount and always our first concern.'
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