Flight VY2188 was on it’s scheduled Malaga-Barcelona flight when to the horror of the passengers the cabin filled with thick smoke some twenty minutes before landing. Alarm grew as the cabin crew were unable to inform the panic-stricken passengers the reasoning for the accumulating smoke.
The Vueling Airbus A320-200N had to make a preferential landing in El Prat Airport.
Spokesperson Javier Calderon expressed disappointment that none of the crew could explain to the increasingly nervous passengers, the origin of the smoke, which he attributes to the combustion of some plastic. The incident has also brought to light the unsettling detail that the plane was not equipped with adequate filter masks. Neither sufficient wet towels to go around and aid the passengers to prevent inhaling the thick fumes. Instead the passengers had to assist themselves against the air pollution by covering their mouths with their own hands.
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The plane landed just after midnight and the frightened passengers were forced to make a sudden emergency evacuation, and even then the emergency ramps did not activate efficiently and several passengers suffered panic attacks as a result.
Javier Calderon has also sated that the passengers did not receive clear instructions on how to properly exit via the blow-up slides.
Then passengers were unable to leave the vicinity until after three am, they were all taken in small groups to collect their belongings before they were finally permitted to leave.
Fortunately there were two Ryanair staff who happened to be travelling on the flight and were able to aid with assistance.
Passengers have criticised the way Vueling staff handled the incident.
Vueling have informed that the emergency procedures were activated as required for an emergency situation and that the plane landed “without problems”. The company are now investigating the causes of the occurrence.
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