- A Spirit Airlines flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale had to be diverted to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina after passengers complained of burning throats and chest pains caused by a strange smell.
- The odor is reported to have resembled “dirty socks.”
- Rescue officials in Myrtle Beach who examined the plane were not able to confirm what caused the smell.
A Spirit Airlines flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale, Florida had to be diverted to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Thursday night after passengers aboard complained of burning throats and chest pains caused by an odor that resembled, “dirty socks.”
Spirit Airlines Flight 779 took off from LaGuardia Airport around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night. The crew decided to make an unscheduled landing in South Carolina when a strange smell began to pervade the cabin.
On a radio recording made by Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue, first reported by NBC4 New York, a rescue worker says, “Reports are we have several occupants on a plane exposed to an unknown substance. They have deplaned and are currently on the ramp. We are isolating and are attempting to get in touch with the airport fire.”
Passengers complained that the odor smelled like “dirty socks,” as according to NBC4 New York, aside from those passengers reporting chest and throat discomfort, some people were vomiting and one woman was found unconscious.
A total of 220 passengers were on-board the flight, with NBC4 reporting between seven-to-10 of them were transported to a local hospital for exposure to “a possible unknown substance.” The Associated Press reports only one person was taken to the hospital.
Lt. Christian Sliker, of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, told NBC4, “After extensive monitoring and hazmat crews entering into the fuselage, no substances were found. The plane is all clear.”
“Spirit Airlines flight 779 with scheduled service from New York LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale was diverted to Myrtle Beach Thursday night after an odor developed in a section of the aircraft. A handful of Guests were checked out by medical professionals and have since been cleared to continue their journey,” the airline said in a statement to Business Insider.
“The source of the odor is being investigated, and a supplemental aircraft was sent to Myrtle Beach to pick up our Guests. We apologise for the inconvenience this diversion has caused. At Spirit Airlines the safety of our Guests and Crew is paramount,” the airline said.
According to the AP, a replacement plane was provided by Spirit Airlines, leaving Myrtle Beach at 3:30 a.m. Friday, and finally landing at Fort Lauderdale at 4:45 a.m.
Officials are still not sure what made so many people on-board sick.
A photo posted on Twitter shows the passengers de-boarding the plane upon its landing in Myrtle Beach.
— VIPortal INC (@VIPortalINC) July 27, 2018
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