An Emirates Airline Airbus A380 jet is met by a ground crew as it pulls up to a gate at JFK International Airport in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Jeremy Bales/Bloomberg News)

Passengers Become Ill on Emirates Flight From Dubai to JFK

(Bloomberg) -- At least 10 people were taken ill on an Emirates flight from Dubai to New York and hospitalized after the double-decker jet landed at John F. Kennedy International airport.

The incident unfolded after passengers and crew members among the 521 aboard the A380 superjumbo complained of symptoms including fever and a cough, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which initially estimated 100 were sick. Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, later said on Twitter that a total 19 people were reported ill, with 10 taken to the hospital.

The Port Authority isolated the plane, flight EK203, after it touched down at 9:12 a.m. local time. As of about 11:50 a.m., 432 people had been let off the jet to continue their journeys, Phillips said.

"Emirates can confirm that all passengers have disembarked from flight EK 203," the airline said in a statement. All passengers were evaluated by local health authorities before being allowed off the plane, according to the statement. Three passengers and seven crew members were transferred to a hospital for further medical care. Nine more passengers were released after additional medical screening.

A Twitter user who said she was a passenger on the flight described many people showing signs of illness.

Passengers Become Ill on Emirates Flight From Dubai to JFK
Erin Sykes@SykesStyle
@emirates worst flight ever Dubai to NYC; plane was basically a flying infermary. Many of these people should never have been allowed to board. Now sitting on the ground after 14 hour flight unable to leave. @EmiratesSupport #emirates #worstairline

Sent via Twitter for iPhone.

View original tweet.

Emirates is the world’s largest airline by international traffic, and the biggest operator of the Airbus A380 jet, which seats more than 600 people in the Persian Gulf carrier’s highest-density layout.

“The plane was taken to a location away from the terminal so that medical personnel could board the aircraft to evaluate the situation and provide immediate assistance,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement.

Because of the grounding, the return flight EK204 to Dubai was delayed three hours, Emirates said in the statement.

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