- Lucy Brown
- Passengers on an August 2019 British Airways flight that filled with smoke are still experiencing respiratory health issues, the BBC reported.
- Flight BA 422 departed London for Valencia on August 5 without any apparent hitches but as it descended, the cabin suddenly filled with smoke.
- People on that flight are still experiencing difficulties breathing and have sores on their throats, the BBC reported.
- British Airlines declined to comment on the reported symptoms or the smoke, but told Business Insider it has provided the passengers with funds for counseling and “Flying with Confidence” courses.
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British Airways passengers who were on board a flight that suddenly filled with smoke in August are still reporting breathing problems two months on, the BBC reported.
Flight BA 422 departed from London Heathrow Airport on August 5 without any apparent hitches, but as it descended to its destination in Valencia, Spain, the cabin suddenly filled with grey smoke.
Passengers said at the time that being in the cabin “felt like a horror film,” and that the smoke had a “horrible smell” and “people were almost choking.” Flight crew were forced to emergency evacuate passengers, and Spanish aviation authorities have opened an investigation.
Two months on, several people who were on the flight are reporting serious health issues, including breathing problems and the presence of sores in their throats, the BBC reported.
— Dani Meroño Bori (@Dani_Merono) August 5, 2019
Gayle Fitzpatrick, a 40-year-old passenger from Glasgow, told the BBC he now has breathing problems and trouble walking up slope.
“I don’t smoke, I’ve never had any health concerns. So I know [it] must be directly attributable to that flight and whatever I inhaled,” he told the BBC.
Another passenger, Stephen McConnon, said he has sores on his throat and that his performance at the gym has “fallen off a cliff.”
There were 183 people on board – 175 passengers, six flights attendants, and two pilots – at the time.
Three passengers were taken to hospital after they were evacuated from the plane but were discharged the same day, British Airways told Business Insider at the time.
It’s not clear if other people on the flight are experiencing similar symptoms.
— Miguel J. Galindo (@MJGalindo) August 5, 2019
A spokesman for British Airways told Business Insider on Thursday that the airline is legally unable to comment on the cause or contents of the fumes until the Spanish investigation is concluded. It did not say when the probe will end.
“We know that this was an upsetting time, so we have stayed close to our customers, offering ongoing help and support,” the spokesman told Business Insider.
“We have offered to fund counseling and Flying with Confidence courses, and are committed to continue this close contact for as long as our customers would like it,” the airline added.