A British Airways operated Airbus A321 with 175 passenger 8 crew had to be evacuated on the runway at Valencia airport this evening after the entire cabin filled with thick black smoke. Passengers were evacuated onto the tarmac using emergency slides after British Airways flight BA422 touched down shortly before 7pm local time. There is not yet any information as to whether any passengers or crew were involved in the incident were injured.
Videos and photos posted to Twitter show passengers trying to keep as low as possible as the smoke filled the cabin. Some Twitter users complained about a lack of information during the incident – it’s understood the fume event occurred 10 minutes prior to touchdown in the Spanish city.
— James Fernie (@JamesFernie) August 5, 2019
.@British_Airways terrifying experience on flight to Valencia. Felt like horror film. Thankfully everyone safe. Flight filled with smoke and had to be emergency evacuated. #britishairways pic.twitter.com/NT4Gtme9kl
— Lucy Brown (@lucyaabrown) August 5, 2019
— Miguel J. Galindo (@MJGalindo) August 5, 2019
Twitter user Lucy Brown (@LucyaBrown) called the incident “Terrifying” and likened it to a horror movie. Meanwhile, another passenger complained about the lack of oxygen masks – it’s important to note that oxygen masks do not drop in a fume event because they are for decompression events only. If the fumes had been caused by a fire then the additional oxygen would be the last thing you would want.
Instead, passengers are advised to cover their mouth, nose, and eyes and stay as low to the ground as possible.
In a more detailed statement, British Airways said of the incident:
“Flight BA422 from Heathrow to Valencia experienced a technical issue on its landing approach into Valencia. All our customers were evacuated safely by our crew and met by the airport’s emergency services.
There were 175 customers on board the flight, with six cabin crew and two pilots. Three customers were taken to hospital as a precaution and have since been discharged.
The safety of our customers and crew is always our highest priority. In addition to our team on site, other British Airways team members have arrived in Valencia to help our customers and our local airport partners with anything they need.”
According to the BA Source, the aircraft (G-MEDN) was built in 2008 and went to now-defunct airline BMI. The aircraft joined the British Airways fleet in 2012 when BMI was taken over by BA. Aeroinside reports no other significant events for this aircraft.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.