10 hospitalized after falling ill on plane destined for Fort Lauderdale

Posted at 7:11 AM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 07:11:51-05

QUEBEC CITY (AP) — A South Florida-bound flight minutes from takeoff from Quebec City had to be evacuated Thursday and 10 passengers were taken to hospital after fumes from de-icing seeped into the cabin.

Air Transat Flight 782 destined for Fort Lauderdale, Fla. was at the de-icing station shortly before 11 a.m. when passengers complained of feeling faint.

Airport firefighters were called and the flight was emptied, with passengers returning to the terminal.

Jean Lesage International Airport spokeswoman Laurianne Lapierre said 12 passengers were affected. Initial reports were that five people had been taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness and sore eyes.

But a spokesman for the CHU de Quebec, which oversees five hospitals in the capital region, said later that 10 people from the flight were treated at several local hospitals. Bryan Gelinas, the spokesman, said there were "no serious cases," but he declined to provide additional details on their condition.

"For the moment, we are talking about a problem with the ventilation system during the de-icing of the aircraft," Lapierre said. "The airline is leading its own investigation to determine the source of the problem."

She said preliminary readings by airport firefighters after the evacuation found the cabin air to be safe.

In an emailed statement, an Air Transat spokeswoman said the flight crew acted diligently after some passengers "were inconvenienced" by fumes from de-icing that inadvertently entered the plane's ventilation system.

The aircraft was carrying 185 passengers.