I spoke to passengers on Virgin flight VS27 who told me the emergency evacuation at Gatwick Airport was 'frightening and chaotic'.
Virgin Atlantic have issued a new statement on the welfare on the passengers involved in the emergency landing at Gatwick today:
Our number one priority in this incident is the welfare of our passengers. We have spent all day assisting in every way that we can including accompanying customers to hospital, arranging care and overnight accommodation.
We understand that 14 passengers have attended hospital for a variety of injuries and we are keeping informed of their situation.
We will do everything we can to meet their needs and support them at this time.
We cannot comment on individual claims of the situation on board but we are confident that the crew executed the emergency procedures to very high standard.
In these incidents crew are highly trained and part of this training is to speak very loudly and shout instructions on evacuation.
We apologise to all of those customers that have suffered a very difficult experience – we are working around the clock to ensure that best possible care for everyone involved.
Passenger Emily Alner has described the Airbus A330-300 's emergency landing as a "very sharp stop".
She says the pilot appeared "panicked" when the evacuation order was given and says the injuries she sustained (see pictures) were because the evacuation slide was nearly vertical to the ground.
A passenger from the Virgin Airline flight that did an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport said that the crew handled it "very well" and it was "incredibly efficient".
David Davis from the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has told ITV News that passengers were mostly suffering from trauma, rather than smoke-inhalation, following an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport.
Emily Alner, a passenger on the Virgin Atlantic flight that made an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport, has sent ITV News footage from the runway after the plane was evacuated.
A passenger from the Virgin Atlantic flight that made an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport today has sent images to ITV News of the injuries she sustained.
South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) treated casualties with a range of injuries at Gatwick Airport after a plane was forced to make an emergency landing. Dr Jane Pateman, SECAmb's Medical Director, said:
A total of 15 patients were transferred to hospital, 14 of which went to two major trauma centres, at St George’s Hospital and Royal Sussex County Hospital suffering from suspected fractures. Planned treatment of all patients with major injuries at designated specialist centres is a new system that was implemented across England on April 2 this year. This was the first time that the system had been tested with a significant incident of this nature.
– Dr Jane Pateman, Medical Director, South East Coast Ambulance Service
“We are very pleased to say that the system worked extremely well and that we were able to maintain our normal service to members of the public whilst dealing with this incident and ensuring that all patients affected received appropriate treatment.”
Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Steve Ridgway said the captain's assessment was that he needed to get the aircraft back to Gatwick Airport as quickly as he could, land the aircraft and deploy the emergency chute and get all the passengers off and that is what he did.
Mr Ridgway said several passengers wanted to thank the captain for what he did and the announcements he made.