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Emirates plane in quarantine after ’10 passengers fall ill’

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5th Sep 2018 | Elizabeth Sasu

An Emirates plane has been quarantined at JFK airport in New York after multiple passengers reported feeling ill, the airline has said.

Local news outlets originally reported that up to 100 of the passengers on the flight from Dubai to New York were suffering from coughs and fevers. But the airline said in a statement that only 10 passengers had fallen ill, and “were immediately checked by local health authorities”. The other passengers were expected to disembark shortly.

The plane landed around 9 am on Wednesday in New York, where Port Authority Police and Centres for Disease Control (CDC) staff were reportedly waiting on the scene to screen the approximately 500 passengers. At least three of the passengers were taken to the hospital, a local NBC affiliate reported.

A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio said the flight had briefly stopped over in Mecca, which was experiencing a flu outbreak. Authorities were considering this as a possible source for the illness, spokesperson Eric Phillips said.

Video taken inside the plane after it landed showed a tense scene, with airline employees urging passengers to stay out of the aisles. Mr Phillips said sick passengers were being triaged on the plane, while a local ABC News affiliate reported the flight crew was being loaded into ambulances.

Passengers on the plane posted photos of several emergency vehicles lined up on the tarmac upon their arrival. The New York Police Department Counterterrorism Bureau confirmed they were monitoring a “medical situation” at the airport. The New York Fire Department was also on the scene.

The CDC said in a statement that they were aware of passengers who reported an “unspecified illness”, and were working with local authorities to investigate.

Source: independent

Written by: Adwoa Sasu

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