Strong Plane De-Icing Fumes Send 10 Passengers to the Hospital
Strong fumes on-board Air Transat 782 forced officials to evacuate 185 passengers Thursday morning, just minutes before takeoff from Quebec City Airport (YQB). Ten passengers were taken to nearby hospitals for related symptoms including vomiting, dizziness and sore eyes.
The fumes had wafted into the plane's ventilation system during the de-icing process, according to an Air Transat spokesperson. After several passengers complained of feeling faint, airport firefighters were called, and all passengers returned to the terminal.
"For the moment, we are talking about a problem with the ventilation system during the de-icing of the aircraft," said Jean Lesage International Airport spokeswoman Laurianne Lapierre. "The airline is leading its own investigation to determine the source of the problem."
Bryan Gelinas, speaking on behalf of the entity that oversees five hospitals in the capital region said there were "no serious cases" amongst the hospitalized travelers, but declined to provide additional details on the passengers' condition.
Lapierre also said that preliminary readings after the evacuation found the cabin air to be safe, according to the firefighters' readings. Despite the findings, the airline opted instead to deploy a Boeing 737-800 from Toronto to transport the healthy passengers to their destination. The airline typically utilizes an Airbus 321 for the weekly flight between Quebec City and Fort Lauderdale. Flight 782 arrived in Fort Lauderdale 12 hours and 35 minutes late, according to FlightAware.