Nineteen passengers were injured after British Airways Flight 422 made an emergency landing at its intended destination of Valencia, Spain, on Monday after smoke filled the cabin. The Telegraph is reporting that the Airbus A321 was on approach to Valencia when the “technical issue” occurred. The passengers were evacuated via the emergency slides.
Other news reports say the Airbus had a fire in one of the engines that had extinguished itself by the time the jetliner had landed.
According to British Air, ”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.”
Passengers reported that the pilots were able to land wearing oxygen masks but that the cabin masks were not deployed.
The British pilots union, BALPA, praised the professional job done by the pilots and crew. Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary said, “The pilots and crew appear to have done an excellent and highly professional job of getting this aircraft safely onto the ground in very difficult circumstances, and safely evacuating all the passengers with no reported serious injuries. We believe the pilots landed this aircraft wearing full oxygen masks and goggles which is extremely challenging.”
Noting passengers’ complaints that the oxygen masks had not deployed, BALPA noted that “this is because they, unlike pilot and cabin crew oxygen systems, are not designed to be used in smoke events as they mix the oxygen supply with the ambient air. Passenger oxygen masks are for use during decompression events.”