Emirates plane briefly quarantined at John F. Kennedy airport after numerous passengers fall ill
An Emirates airline Airbus A380 superjumbo jet was briefly quarantined at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after numerous passengers fell ill on a flight arriving from Dubai early Wednesday.
Initial reports from NBC New York said up to 100 passengers fell ill, but a subsequent statement from Emirates put that number at just “about” 10. The discrepancy was not immediately clear.
Emirates Flight 203 landed in New York around 9:15 a.m. ET before it was sent to a staging area to be inspected by Port Authority and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials. It appeared as though passengers had been sent on their ways by 10:45 a.m. ET.
In its statement, Emirates said:
“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.”
It was not immediately clear what caused the passengers to become ill.
One apparent passenger on the flight took to Twitter with a description from the plane.
“All we have been told is that some passengers have fallen ill and we should remain in our seats,” said a Twitter user going by the name of Larry Coben.
Coben posted an image of a “row of ambulances” that met the plane at JFK. He followed with another tweet showing flight crew deplaning and walking across the tarmac toward the lineup of emergency vehicles.
Coben then added that passengers still on the plane were being asked to fill out a form from the CDC that was titled “Passenger Locator Information Page.”
But by 10:45 a.m. ET, Coben added via Twitter that he was making his way toward passport control. At 11:03 a.m., he added: “Happy to report that I am through customs and on my way home. Others as well.”
The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft.
Emirates is by far the top operator of the model, with more than 100 in its fleet. The seating capacity on the planes vary, but Emirates has three configurations that seat 489, 517 or 615 passengers. The models Emirates flies to New York typically seat either 489 or 517.