A United flight from Baltimore diverted to Washington Dulles after passengers and crew became sickened by noxious fumes.
The smell of fumes was present upon boarding only worsened as the flight took off. Passengers complained of nausea, headaches, chest pain, and inhibited breathing.
United 1675, operated by a 737-800, was bound for San Francisco but only made it the 45-miles over southern Maryland and the District of Columbia to Dulles Airport in northern Virginia.
Fire trucks and paramedics met the flight. Seven passengers were taken to a hospital and carefully examined. All but one have now been released. United quickly volunteered to cover any hospital or related medical expenses.
One Twitter user, BarredinDC, live-tweeted about the incident:
Did not expect to be in a hospital this morning. Faint fuel smell was on plane before we departed and was quite strong while in air. Tons of firetrucks, about 20 people complaining of nausea, chest pains, headaches, anxiety attacks and/or trouble breathing.
Did not expect to be in a hospital this morning. @united flight 1375 from BWI to SFO was diverted (above Cumberland, MD) back to IAD. Faint fuel smell was on plane before we departed and was quite strong while in air. Tons of firetrucks, about 20 people complaining of nausea, pic.twitter.com/lDrl7HaMfO
— Barred in DC (@barredindc) March 29, 2019
In an e-mailed statement, United said:
United 1675 from Baltimore-Washington to San Francisco diverted to Washington Dulles because a strong odor in the cabin. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to a gate. Customers were immediately deplaned and evaluated by medical personnel. Several customers were transported to local hospitals. Customers will be rebooked on flights to San Francisco from Washington-Dulles.
Flight 1675 was originally re-scheduled to continue onward to San Francisco but was later canceled. Passengers were re-accommodated on other flights to their final destination.
Encountering a gas chamber onboard an airplane is a horrific nightmare. I am thankful the plane was quickly able to land and all passengers appear okay.
image: BarredinDC / Twitter