News

Plane makes emergency landing after three passengers mysteriously lose consciousness

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
The flight carrying 75 passengers left O'Hare Airport bound for Bradley in Connecticut, but was forced to land
The flight carrying 75 passengers left O'Hare Airport bound for Bradley in Connecticut, but was forced to land

A SkyWest Airlines flight from Chicago has made an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York, after three passengers mysteriously lost consciousness.

The flight carrying 75 passengers left O'Hare Airport bound for Bradley in Connecticut, but was forced to land at Buffalo Niagara Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the crew of the SkyWest Embraer E170 jet, operating as United Express, reported a possible pressurisation problem, but SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said maintenance staff found no indication of any issue with the aircraft and the airline was continuing to investigate.

"There were no reports before the unconscious passenger prior to the initiated descent, but I can't speak to what may have been the specific cause of their feeling ill," she said.

It was reported earlier that only one passenger lost consciousness, but Ms Snow said medical staff confirmed that three lost consciousness. The passengers were evaluated and released with none needing hospital treatment, she said.

The plane dove as fast as 7,000 feet per minute, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. Two other passengers also passed out on the flight, the airline said, but it did not say whether that occurred before, during or after the descent.

"We were all told to just keep breathing and as we were told to keep breathing, we suddenly went into a nose dive," passenger Vanessa Bergmann told NBC

"And that rapid descent was incredibly scary. It really felt that we were diving down uncontrollably."

The Federal Aviation Administration said earlier Wednesday that the crew on the Embraer aircraft had reported a pressurization problem and declared an emergency. The agency later amended its statement to omit mention of the pressurization problem.