A plane carrying 220 passengers was forced to divert after a mysterious odor caused sickness, discomfort, and even loss of consciousness, during a July 26 flight.
Spirit Airlines Flight 779 took off at LaGuardia airport in New York and was on its way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before it was diverted to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, NBC 4 reported.
Reports indicate at least one passenger said the plane had an odor that smelled like “dirty socks.” There were concerns that chemicals or an unknown substance could be wafting through the air, the New York Post reported.
The Myrtle Beach Airport is back to normal after a hectic night when a flight made an emergency landing for a hazmat situation. This morning flights are leaving as scheduled. @wpdeabc15 pic.twitter.com/1F0mi6j1c7
— Amanda Kinseth (@AmandaKinseth) July 27, 2018
Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue found nothing, despite passengers going to the hospital.
“Kids were throwing up, women fainted, it was real bad. We don’t even know what really happened. They didn’t tell us. But they made us sign a kind of waiver for us go to the hospital, so it must have been something that they want to protect themselves from,” said Steven Costello, a passenger on the flight, WPLG reported.
Passengers waited hours for another plane before finally reaching Fort Lauderdale at around 5 a.m. the next morning. Passenger Amber Kogut said passengers were given Domino’s pizza while they waited, according to the Post.
12:00am update: no substances have been found after extensive monitoring of the aircraft. Crews are begins to demobilize from the incident.
— Myrtle Beach FD (@MyrtleBeachFire) July 27, 2018
“No flights canceled as a result of last nights isolated incident. It occurred on an inbound flight, not at the airport. Aircraft diverted to MYR. Airport never closed & is open. Passengers, except those hospitalized, have continued on to final destination,” wrote Spirit Airlines in a statement, obtained by ABC 15 reporter Amanda Kinseth.
Passengers said they were offered a full refund and Spirit spokesman Derek Dombrowski told them they would receive travel credits, according to the Post.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.