Two US-Heathrow flights diverted due to smoke emergencies

Two US-Heathrow flights diverted due to smoke emergencies

Two British Airways flights from the US to the UK were forced to make emergency landings in the past 10 days after burning smells were detected in business class, Canadian investigators have found.

In the first incident, on February 1, attendants sprayed a fire extinguisher on two seats as the Washington Dulles to Heathrow Airport flight was diverted to Halifax, Canada.

In the second, on February 10, another Boeing Dreamliner, this one flying from Boston to Heathrow, had another smoke emergency, also in the business class section, and it was forced to land in St John’s, Newfoundland.

The Canadian Transport Safety Board has issued reports on both incidents.

The Dulles flight captain issued a Pan-Pan emergency call — meaning urgent assistance is required but there is no apparent threat to life — to air-traffic controllers.

The plane landed in Halifax where passengers disembarked using doors and not emergency procedures.

Cabin crew used a halon fire extinguisher on seats in the business class section, the report found.

It said passengers complained of a burning smell but there was no visible smoke damage.

Nine days later, a similar drama played out on the Boston to Heathrow plane, where passengers again smelt smoke coming from a seat in first class.

The flight was over the Atlantic Ocean and diverted to St John’s. Two attendants were taken to hospital after inhaling fumes, the CTSB reported.

Again, inspectors were not able to find the source of the burning smell.

“Both flights diverted as a precaution due to technical issues and they landed normally,” a BA representative said.

“We apologised to our customers for the disruption to their journey and got them on their way as soon as possible. Safety is always our highest priority.”

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