A London-bound Virgin Atlantic flight taking off from New York City was forced to divert to Boston following reports of a fire in the passenger cabin.
Massachusetts State Police say Virgin Atlantic flight 138 made an emergency landing at Logan International Airport on Thursday night, after the crew reported a fire emanating from a passenger’s seat. Crew members extinguished the fire prior to landing, police said.
The department’s Ordinance Disposal Unit subsequently boarded the plane and inspected the seat.
“Preliminary investigation suggests it is a battery pack consistent in appearance with an external phone charger,” police wrote in a news release.
Cory Tanner, a passenger aboard the flight, claims the fire broke out in first-class, though the smoke could be smelled throughout the plane.
Tanner also said passengers were not evacuated prior to the emergency workers inspecting the plane.
All 271 passengers were eventually deplaned safely, police said. “One passenger refuses EMS for smoke-related complaint,” the Massachusetts State Police wrote.
Virgin Atlantic did not elaborate on the cause of the fire, but confirmed that the carrier is conducting an investigation.
“The VS138 from JFK to London Heathrow (4 July 2019) diverted to Boston due to reports of smoke in the cabin. Our crew responded immediately and the plane has landed safely in Boston,” Virgin Atlantic wrote in a statement.
The airline added that passengers were provided with overnight lodging and will be continuing to their destinations Friday.
“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we are currently investigating to fully understand the circumstances. All our customers were offered overnight accommodation and onward travel today (5th July 2019). We’d like to thank our customers for their patience during this time.”
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