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- A Virgin Atlantic flight from Barbados was quarantined upon arrival in London on Wednesday after 50 passengers reported nausea and coughing fits.
- Flight VS610 was a private charter from Bridgetown, which landed at London Gatwick at 5:13 a.m.
- A Hazardous Area Response Team attended the plane, took affected passengers to a holding area, and took three to hospital.
- Passenger Trevor Wilson tweeted passengers were suffering with a “bad chesty cough possibly chest infection.”
A Virgin Atlantic plane flying into London was quarantined on arrival after 50 passengers and crew were struck by coughing fits and “nausea.”
Flight VS610 – a private charter by the cruise company MSC – landed at Gatwick Airport from Bridgetown, Barbados, at 5:13 a.m. on Wednesday.
Passengers returning from a cruise in the Caribbean were quarantined on arrival by the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust, an airport spokesman told Business Insider.
Members of the flight crew had called in advance to warn that large numbers of the 448 people onboard were unwell, the spokesman said.
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Passenger Trevor Wilson tweeted: “Currently been stuck on plane at #gatwick for 90 mins due to sickness on board! Now told we are being taken to a holding centre to be assessed!”
Medics entered the plane wearing masks, and removed ill passengers into a holding area, after which the remaining passengers were disembarked and continued their journeys, Virgin Atlantic and the airport told Business Insider.
Wilson described the illness as “Mainly a bad chesty cough possibly chest infection” which “seems to originate from the cruise ship.”
MSC Cruises told Business Insider: “What we do know is that on MSC Preziosa [the cruise ship the passengers came from,] no cases of acute gastroenteritis have been reported in the past 14 days.”
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Three passengers from the eight-hour transatlantic flight were taken to hospital for further evaluation, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust said in a statement.
The full statement said:
“South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust were called to attend an in-bound flight at Gatwick at shortly before 5am today (6 March) following reports of a number of passengers and crew feeling unwell and nauseous.”
“We sent ambulance crews including out Hazardous Area Response Team and a number of other specialist paramedics to the scene. The crews have worked together on the scene to assess and treat patients approximately 30 people, most of whom have been able to be discharged from scene with advice.”
“Three patients are being taken to hospital for further checks.”
Virgin told the BBC that 50 passengers and crew had reported feeling unwell.
MSC Cruises told Business Insider:
“Following an initial medical assessment on the plane of approximately one hour, passengers were allowed to disembark and were accommodated at Gatwick Airport terminal.”
“We are still investigating what may have caused the illness and we are currently waiting for further updates from Gatwick Airport medical services.”
Virgin Atlantic told Business Insider in a statement:
“A number of customers onboard the VS610, which landed at London Gatwick this morning (March 6th) 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.”