Jet diverts with ill passengers

Jet diverts with ill passengers


Two passengers fell ill during the flight and a third after the flight landed – © Pat Flynn 2014

A transatlantic jet diverted to Shannon Airport yesterday after two passengers complained of feeling unwell while a third fell ill after landing.

Turkish Airlines flight THY-12 was travelling from New York to Istanbul in Turkey with 305 people on board when the crew declared a medical emergency and requested permission to divert to Shannon.

The Airbus A330-300 jet was about 350 kilometres south west of Shannon Airport and due to pass south of Ireland when the crew raised the alarm at around 9.00am

The pilot requested priority clearance direct to Shannon first reporting that a male passenger on board was “unconscious”. Cabin crew members attended to the patient while the flight rerouted to Shannon.

Soon afterwards the crew updated air traffic controllers stating that a second person had also fallen ill. It’s understood that passenger suffered a panic attack.

The crew requested emergency medical services to be standing for the aircraft when it arrived. Two HSE ambulances were sent to meet the plane which landed at 10.56am.

Turkish Airlines flight 12 at the terminal at Shannon Airport yesterday – © Pat Flynn 2014

As a precaution, airport fire crews were also standing by at strategic locations along the runway, ready to check the jet’s braking system to ensure there was no overheating during the emergency landing.

After an inspection of the undercarriage was completed, the jet taxied to the terminal where it was met by ambulance paramedics who quickly boarded the jet to assess and treat the patients.

While one man was reported to be unconscious the second passenger is understood to have suffered a panic attack.

While medics dealt with the passengers, a third person complained of feeling unwell. The woman was assessed by paramedics but able to continue her journey to Istanbul later.

An airport spokesman confirmed that “a number of passengers disembarked at Shannon for differing reasons” but could not confirm how many were actually transferred to hospital.

The HSE confirmed that two ambulances were sent to the airport but that just one patient was transported to University Hospital Limerick.

The flight continued it’s journey to Istanbul shortly before 1.00pm almost two hours after first landing.

In accordance with security procedures, all baggage belonging to those who were taken from the aircraft had to be located and removed before the flight could continue it’s journey.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.