British plane lands in Canada after fumes on flight deck

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 10, 2013 12:50 hrs

London, Feb 10 (IANS) A British Airways Boeing 777 flight with over 150 people was forced to make an emergency landing in Canada after suspected toxic oil fumes were reported on the flight deck, a media report said Sunday.

The plane, carrying 158 passengers from Heathrow to Philadelphia, made the unscheduled stop at Goose Bay in Newfoundland, in temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius after fumes started to cause eye and throat irritation, the Daily Mail reported.

Halfway through the eight-hour flight, the co-pilot also became incapacitated after he started to feel nauseous.

Oxygen masks were required for the captain and first officer, so that they could make the landing last Sunday.

The news came after two pilots died within days of each other after complaining about being exposed to toxic oil fumes on passenger planes.

Richard Westgate, 43, died after instructing his lawyers to sue British Airways for health and safety breaches days before fellow pilot Karen Lysakowska, 43, passed away, the daily said.

Both claimed they had been poisoned by fumes that can contaminate cabin air and which regularly force pilots to wear oxygen masks.

Official records from the Civil Aviation Authority show that pilots and crew have to put on their oxygen masks at least five times a week to combat suspected fume events.

"Safety is always our top priority and the captain took the right decision to divert. We are sorry our customers' journey was delayed," a British Airways said of the latest incident.

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