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.
Gatwick Airport have issued another statement confirming that their main runway has now reopened, following an aircraft having to make an emergency landing earlier today:
Following the incident earlier today when a Virgin flight bound for Orlando made an emergency landing, our main runway re-opened at 15.23 and is now fully operational for departing and arriving flights. However, passengers should expect some knock on disruptions as a result of the earlier flight suspensions.
– Gatwick Airport
Flights were suspended for around two hours until our standby runway opened at 1400. As a result of the incident, 26 flights were diverted and nine flights were cancelled.
Gatwick Airport have issued a statement confirming that their standby runway is 'now open' and flights are now arriving and departing.
– Gatwick Airport
Following the emergency landing of a Virgin flight bound for Orlando earlier today, our standby runway is now open and flights are departing and arriving.
We aim to return to normal operations as soon as possible.
Virgin Atlantic has issued a statement confirming that all passengers and crew have 'safely been disembarked' from flight VS27, which had to make an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport. They are now working closely working with authorities to establish the cause of the incident.