British Airways captain and co-pilot fall ill in the cockpit after smelling ‘foul odour’

The pair were rushed to hospital upon landing

Chris Wilson
Friday 20 October 2023 07:02 BST

Related video: BA plane passengers evacuated at Heathrow after four fell ill from unknown 'fumes'

The captain and co-pilot of a British Airways flight were both taken ill in the cockpit after reporting a “foul odour” while flying at 30,000ft.

The pair had been flying a BA Shuttle 13C between Newcastle and London on the morning of 19 October when the incident occurred, landing at Heathrow at around 9.14am.

Emergency services met the aircraft upon arrival.

The pair arrived at BA’s Crew Report Centre before being assessed by medical staff, and were then taken to hospital by hazardous response experts after suffering from smoke inhalation, reports The Sun.

A source told The Sun: “This was a shocking incident. The immediate concern is obviously for the two pilots.

“But also striking is the worry about what could have happened had these two cockpit crew been intoxicated when they were still at the controls of a crowded jet at 25,000ft. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Investigations have started into this alarming incident”.

Speaking to The Independent, a BA spokesperson said: “The flight landed safely and customers disembarked normally following a minor technical issue with the aircraft.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues remains our highest priority”.

The London Ambulance Service said in a statement: “We were called at 10.39am on 19 October to reports of an incident at Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport, Hounslow.

“We sent an ambulance crew, an incident response officer and members of our hazardous area response team to the scene.

“We treated two patients at the scene for smoke inhalation and took them to a local hospital”.

This is not the first event of its kind this year, with a BA flight evacuated at Heathrow on 9 October after passengers fell ill due to fumes in the cabin.

In July, a flight from Johannesburg to London turned back after just 35 minutes when the cabin became filled with “a burning smell”.

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