Emirates plane from Dubai quarantined at JFK after 100 passengers fall sick: Reports
Flight EK 203 from Dubai was headed toward New York when nearly 100 of the passengers onboard started feeling ill early Wednesday morning
An Emirates plane landing at John F Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday was quarantined after nearly 100 passengers reported feeling sick. There were nearly 500 passengers onboard the flight, according to reports.
Flight EK 203 from Dubai was headed toward New York when nearly 100 of the passengers onboard reported feeling ill early Wednesday morning. The Port Authority Police and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were reportedly waiting for the aircraft when it landed at about 9:10 am on Wednesday morning to check the passengers.
BREAKING: An Emirates A380 in quarantine at JFK Airport right now awaiting CDC officials after about 100 passengers became ill with fevers over 100 degrees and coughing. Flight 203 had just arrived from Dubai. pic.twitter.com/lyUgNbMaEW— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) September 5, 2018
The incident was confirmed by the mayor's office, which said that the entire plane has been quarantined until further notice. It was not immediately clear what caused the passengers to fall ill.
Emirates flight #EK203 (An A380 with registration A6-EUF) is quarantined at JFK Airport in New York. According to reports in media about 100 passengers on board are reported feeling sick. pic.twitter.com/LnzV4NPKao— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 5, 2018
Fox News said hazardous materials crews were called to the airport.
A passenger on board, Larry Coben, told NBC News that he was told there were sick passengers, but he hadn’t seen any sick passengers himself.
The press secretary for the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Eric Phillips, released a statement on Twitter saying that the flight had stopped at Mecca, which is currently experiencing a flu outbreak and it could be a possibility that the passengers may be infected.
Flight started in Dubai and stopped in Mecca, which is experiencing a flu outbreak. Early indications point to that as a POSSIBILITY. More to come https://t.co/61C2Lnc29z— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) September 5, 2018
Emirates airline also released a statement on Twitter, saying that all the sick passengers were being attended to and those unaffected will be allowed to leave the plane soon. The airline has also confirmed that at least 10 passengers have taken ill.
Statement: Emirates can confirm that about 10 passengers on #EK203 from Dubai to New York were taken ill. On arrival, as a precaution, they were attended to by local health authorities. All others will disembark shortly. The safety & care of our customers is our first priority.— Emirates Airline (@emirates) September 5, 2018
Meanwhile, ABC News reported that the pilot of the aircraft raised concerns before landing after several passengers reported experiencing high temperatures and coughing.
There could also be a possibility of food poisoning being the cause, according to BBC.
The CDC also released a statement, saying it was "aware of an Emirates flight from Dubai that arrived this morning at JFK. Approximately 100 passengers, including some crew on the flight, complained of illness including cough and some with fever."
"CDC public health officers are working with... officials to evaluate passengers including taking temperatures and making arrangements for transport to local hospitals those that need care," the statement added.
Phillips also released another statement confirming that at least 10 passengers were taken to to Jamica Hospital.
10 sick people off the plane and heading to Jamaica Hospital. Health officials taking others off one by one checking for symptoms. About 40 cleared and going to customs. A few others showing symptoms and being held for treatment and possible transport to hospital. https://t.co/6X0445ivXy— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) September 5, 2018
A passenger on the plane, Larry Coben, shared pictures from the scene of the unaffected passengers being checked by health officials as they deboarded the plane.
Deplaning and having temperature taken pic.twitter.com/MVxWqJPLTe— Larry Coben (@LarryCoben) September 5, 2018
A flight from New York to Florida was diverted earlier this year, when passengers reported burning throats from an unidentified substance which smelled like "dirty socks," according to reports.
This is a developing story and more details are awaited