Mysterious illness forces American Airlines flight to make emergency landing

Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2016

American AirlinesAn American Airlines flight en route to Los Angeles from London was forced to turn around over the Atlantic. However, it remains unclear what made the American Airlines flight AA109 make an emergency landing yesterday (Jan 27).

It has been reported that the aircraft was more than two hours into its journey and close to Keflavik, Iceland, when several passengers and crew members suddenly and mysteriously became ill and the captain called a ‘medical emergency’. But the exact nature of illness is still not known.

Dr Barbara Persons. Who was onboard offered to help after cabin crew and fellow-flyers reported feeling dizzy.

Dr Persons told MailOnline, “The flight attendant had passed out just outside of the business class lavatory and I attended to her first. She awoke after about a minute. Then lost consciousness again before being placed on oxygen. Five other flight attendants and one passenger, an older gentleman who had recently had an aortic valve replacement, all felt ill.”



She added, “I placed them on oxygen, assessed all and talked with captain Frank McGill. He made the immediate decision to fly back to Heathrow. The second flight attendant was dizzy and flushed and unable to stand. Other flight attendants all toward front of plane were dizzy, light headed, had vertigo and were slightly nauseated. Two said they smelled a slight electrical or burning smell.”

The matter is being investigated as investigators are trying to find out what caused the sudden bouts of illness.

“Those onboard were not allowed to disembark, nor paramedics allowed on to treat those unwell, until tests had been carried out for any ‘elevated levels of substances’ in the cabin air – analysis that yielded no answers,” the Daily Mail reported.

A number of possible causes for the incident has been put forward by experts as reported by The Daily Mail including a problem in the galley where air crew cook food, a fault with the air conditioning system or a chemical leak from a passenger’s bag.

An aviation specialist said there is a chance that an oven or another piece of equipment was giving off fumes in the galley, either due to a fault with the equipment or due to the chemicals used to clean it.

Another possible cause is that a laptop battery or another electrical device leaked in a passenger’s bag, producing fumes.

The Daily Mail quoted a spokesman for American Airlines, “Our maintenance team conducted a thorough inspection of the aircraft, including a test flight, and found no issues with the Boeing 777-300. Out of an abundance of caution, all of the air filters on the aircraft were replaced.”

Luggage was confiscated in order to be checked by authorities.

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