By Stephen Moyes and Annabel Murphy of The Sun

28th January 2019, 10:09 pm

Updated: 28th January 2019, 10:11 pm


A BRITISH Airways pilot declared a ‘May Day’ emergency at 30,000ft due to fumes on a packed airliner resulting in 10 crew members being taken to hospital.

The drama unfolded just hours after the same plane suffered another reported odour scare.

Crew members on a Boeing 747 from Heathrow to Boston told of a “strange toxic smell” after touchdown in the US.

An official Air Safety Report was completed into the incident on Flight BA213 – which was carrying passengers including Jason Mahoney, the Head of Engineering for BA.

After a check by BA engineers in Boston the same plane was declared safe for take-off on its return leg to London.

Flight BA212 was 1hr 41 minutes into the journey when the Captain declared an emergency due to another fume event.


The aircraft returned to Boston where 10 crew members were taken to hospital for checks.

BA sources said two cabin crew were seriously ill, with one violently unwell – but the airline said there was no evidence of this.

Bosses jetted out a team of experts to probe the plane and it remained grounded for three days.

After returning to London without passengers, the same aircraft was immediately cleared to take off on a flight to New York.


The airline has been hit by fume events on previous flights between London and Boston.

BA officials said the crew on the latest troubled flight on January 21 were advised to go to hospital as a precaution.

Bosses believe the reported fume events were caused by de-icing chemicals used on the runway in Boston amid -15C temperatures rather than toxic fumes.

An airline spokeswoman told The Sun: “Engineers carried out thorough checks on the aircraft when it landed in Boston.

“An additional team of specialists was flown out to do more tests before the aircraft was cleared to fly again.

“We encourage all our crew to report any concerns, and seek medical advice as a precaution if they feel unwell for any reason.”


In 2016 BA denied accusations they downplayed an incident that left 25 cabin crew in hospital after toxic fumes leaked into the jet of a San Francisco-bound flight.

The Unite union said that BA was attempting to spin the nature of such instances and “manipulate” statistics “to downplay how widespread the problem really is in the industry”.