Virgin Atlantic Flight VS610 from Barbados was quarantined on the morning of Wednesday, March 6th at London’s Gatwick airport. The flight parked at a remote area of the airport around 5:30 AM after dozens of passengers onboard reported feeling ill and nauseous during the flight.
BREAKING: All crew and passengers on a flight from Barbados to Gatwick have had to be medically assessed and quarantined after an outbreak of a 'coughing sickness' on board. It was a specially chartered Virgin flight @LBC pic.twitter.com/egRAuV7jHC
— Rachael Venables (@rachaelvenables) March 6, 2019
What are the details?
The Boeing 747-400 landed at Gatwick around 5:20 AM Wednesday morning with 448 passengers onboard. After operating a charter flight from Bridgetown, Barbados carrying MSC Preziosa cruise passengers. After landing at Gatwick the aircraft taxied to a remote hard stand to meet emergency response teams from the South East Coast Ambulance Service and local police. Medical personnel and authorities made the decision to screen everyone onboard, in line with standard health and safety procedures, according to Virgin Atlantic. The South East Coast Ambulance Service reported that they assessed and treated approximately 30 passengers and crew, most of whom were allowed to be discharged from the scene. Only two passengers were taken to hospital for further checks.
A spokesperson from the Ambulance Service released a statement regarding the incident, stating they were called to attend a flight at Gatwick after several reports of passengers and crew feeling unwell and nauseous.
We responded to assist patients on an inbound flight at Gatwick this morning. Our statement below. pic.twitter.com/UUOTOx8O1d
— SECAmb (@SECAmbulance) March 6, 2019
Passenger Trevor Wilson says he was not sick but his partner had become ill three days into the two-week cruise. He believes the problem must have originated on the cruise ship, not on the flight back to London, stating “We didn’t notice a lot of people sick on the cruise, but when we got on the plane coming it was really bad.”
“Loads of people coughing, and members of the crew became sick, that’s when they alerted ahead.” – Passenger Trevor Wilson
Swiss-based Cruise line MSC Cruises, the operator of the cruise, said the company is investigating and seeking reports from doctors treating the passengers. The company said there have been no cases of similar stomach ailments on the cruise ship in the past two weeks.
Virgin Atlantic released a statement today regarding the incident
“A number of customers onboard the VS610, which landed at London Gatwick this morning from Barbados, reported feeling unwell. As a precaution the plane was met by the relevant authorities who made the decision to screen everyone onboard, in line with standard health and safety procedures. The wellbeing of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we are supporting those affected. Customers have now left the aircraft and can continue their journeys as normal.” – Virgin Atlantic spokesperson
London Gatwick added that some passengers had left the airport and continued with their journeys by 9.20am.
Featured Image by Trevor Wilson via Twitter.