American Airlines flight 729 was flying from London Heathrow to Philadelphia on Monday, but was forced to land in Dublin, Ireland when a cleaning fluid spilled on board caused staff to lose consciousness, according to an audio recording shared by UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
Passengers also complained of burning eyes and itchy skin, the recording showed.
Audio from the plane’s cockpit radio shared by the Daily Telegraph documents one of the plane’s pilots telling Irish air traffic controllers that two crew members had been rendered unconscious, and that people on the plane needed medical assistance after the spill.
You can listen to the recording below:
“We require paramedics to come on board the airplane and render immediate assistance,” the pilot can be heard saying.
“We’ve had two of our flight crew staff made, excuse me, the cabin staff have actually lost consciousness, but I think they’re back to a state of consciousness just now and there are general complaints about burning eyes and skin problems.”
The pilot can also be heard saying that the spill was of a cleaning product used at London Heathrow airport that was inadvertently left on the plane, and that it had absorbed into the plane’s carpets.
“We’ve actually covered the container of the substance. It was a cleaning product that was used at London Heathrow, if you wait a moment I actually have a picture of the container that I have in a plastic bag.
“It was spilled and for some reason the container itself was left behind in the aircraft in one of the lavatories and continued to seep into the carpeting and produce what I’m told is not, it is not a toxic substance.”
A spokesperson for American Airlines told aviation news website Simple Flying that the Airbus A330 was “diverted to Dublin due to an odor caused by a spilled cleaning solution in the galley.”
They said that medics “met the aircraft to evaluate any crew members or passengers who may need additional assistance”and that “Two crew members and one customer were taken to the hospital for evaluation.”
“All have since been released.”
One passenger on the flight told The Daily Telegraph that the plane had been delayed from taking off at Heathrow, and that the pilot said that this was due to an investigation into an “unusual smell.”
“They must’ve judged it safe because we flew out after, only to be rerouted to Dublin a short time later.”
A spokesperson for Dublin Airport told UK newspaper The Sun that Dublin Airport’s emergency fire services arrived on the scene, in line with “standard operating procedures.”
American Airlines said that another flight for the passengers was scheduled for Tuesday morning.