London To L.A. Plane Turns Back After Passengers Sickened

London To L.A. Plane
American Airlines Flight 109, from London to Los Angeles, returned to London on Wednesday after a suspected airborne illness sickened several people. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI |

LONDON, Jan. 28 (UPI) — An American Airlines plane flying from London to Los Angeles returned to London after several people on board became sick.

The four-year-old Boeing 777, carrying 172 passengers and 16 crew members on American Airlines Flight 109 was in its third hour of a ten-hour flight Wednesday afternoon when the pilot asked if a doctor was on board. Shortly after, the pilot made the decision to return to London’s Heathrow Airport rather than land at the nearest airport, Iceland’s Keflavik.

Passengers reported seeing a man sitting in his seat and vomiting, and two people, including a flight attendant, fainting. The pilot and two co-pilots remained unaffected as the plane returned to London, where it was met by teams of first responders and a hazmat crew.

A London ambulance service reported it treated six people at the scene; one, an unidentified crew member, fainted, and five others complained of feeling unwell.

Checks of the air in the plane’s cabin were made after it returned, with no results reported, and American Airlines added that maintenance engineers inspected the plane.


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